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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    August 13, 2013
    10:00 - 2:01pm EDT  

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us to insure that we protect enough of that bandwidth to whereas we expand. and that to me, again, i'm not for sure we have balanced that and taken a long look forward to kind of see exactly what is the bandwidth spectrum that we're going to have and how far do we think we're going to go in unmanned systems in the future as we build our, the army of the future. and then also you've got encroachment with other military equipment, you know? as we expend our network -- expand our network and we say that the network is what drives our soldiers, our squads, our companies, everyone is reaching out trying to put some kind of claim on the bandwidth. so that is an important part of what we're looking at. then, of course, we also have the willingness or unwillingness as we look across the federal government, state governments to allow us to operate within the united states as we train and
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use these. .. >> is going to have to address because the future is not only about military operations, you can see the commercial aspects as we develop stuff and military vatican move out in the commercial sector to where you're moving stuff with trucks and cargo and stuff that are, again, autonomous operations that are allowing the country to move stuff back and forth across it, as much as we're trying to
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do in the structure of the military to move equipment ilogistics back and forth. that's a challenge that we will face in some of things will have to really focus on as we move into the future to ensure that that's not something that prohibits us, but that we are the leaders in helping our nation developed that. >> [inaudible] >> some of the other things i would like to talk about for the additional talks on underpins systems and industries -- [inaudible] >> there are some capability we're looking at to develop, for example, modular interoperable, but at the same time we want to ensure that we have the inclusion of the joint partners. bears come in this time we are drawing then we don't have a lot of money -- [inaudible] >> you have to ensure that you do this in an environment where it's a joint cohesive effort
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with all the services together. you're cutting budgets and you can take a look back and particularly if anything has a word joint and it tends to get hammered pretty early on because edwin starts to protect their own systems. but i think that's very important to the future, that would look at both the joint and coalition. there's a lot of other nations out there that our coalition partners and allies and making some great strides in developing some of these unmanned systems, and that's very important to us that we include that as we move forward. and, finally, i guess i would just close, in closing, before i take some questions, there's some basic key things we're looking for as we are looking to develop some of these systems. and i think one of the key things i would like to say is, we are looking at things that are going to have to be intuitive. that gets to the autonomous aspect. they have also got to be energy efficient and flexible, and at
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the same time we've got to have the systems, and as you look at the intuitive part, that are easy to train on and can reduce training costs and sustain the costs. i mean, that's a key aspect as we're looking forward to the future. because as was said when i was introduced, we are in some tough times now, the department of defense. not only the department of defense but are nation of to get our arms around the fiscal issues that we have. and so that plays into every decision that we make, and so as we go into some of these new programs, we have to be honest with ourselves and know that as we develop these things they have to be affordable, and they've got to bring more than just additional burdens in cost to us. that's kind of the view that i'm taking as we are looking to
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develop our future systems and as we're laying out our modernization plans for the army of the future. but again, this is an area that as a look back over my career of about 35 years and i can remember back in army aviation, we said, you know, unmanned systems, no way, they will never be, no. it's got to the men in it because everyone was scared at the end of the day everything would become unmanned and they would do away with our jobs and stuff. but i will tell you that's not the case. we know that chapter of manned and unmanned things. we know that it will bring better capabilities to our force, and that is the future of our army. i mean, really we've got to incorporate this and it is going to be a big part of, even in a fiscal environment that we know is challenging, we know that we've got to continually look at and that will beware industry has to help us, as we parted to move forward.
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so again thanks having out here today. just talk to you for a few minutes and i will open up for a few questions, if anyone has any. [applause] >> this is good. i love it when i don't have any questions. that makes a great. -- makes it great. i think the only person that had the question has already left the room. [laughter] >> thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you, general barclay. very much appreciate your time. now, this is going to conclude our general session for today,
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but before takeoff, a couple notes. one, we may have instance like that that happen. that's why we have security here, let them take care of it. we've invested in quite a few folks to do that for you. second, don't forget to stop by our demo areas and behind the booth talks going on throughout the day. and don't forget though be a reception on the exhibit hall floor starting at 4:30 p.m. so, we have a new layout today. for this event. our exhibit floor is right behind us. you will shortly see the curtains open. if you follow the carpets, either the left or right side of the stage it will lead you right into the exhibit hall, and it is now officially open. thank you very much. [applause] ♪ fo
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>> the president of the association for unmanned vehicle systems international is hosting this conference. his name is michael toscano, will be at "washington journal" program tomorrow morning. also, north dakota university assistant professor who was moderating the 1 p.m. session of the conference will also be on "washington journal" tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. eastern. he is also the deputy sheriff for grand forks north dakota. we'll have that session live this afternoon on our companion network, c-span. again, that is live on c-span at 1 p.m. eastern. this evening at 7:10 p.m. on on c-span2 hear about the history of gun manufacturing. and booktv in prime time continues tonight with three
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books recommended by our fears. -- by our viewers. >> one of the things i looked at as i was exploring this was i look at a lot of the county records in which the counties where these are. and when you look at the cologne county record, very often not the name of the president, the name of the professor and then listed with their taxable property will be an enslaved person or two or three. >> did students bring -- >> yes. >> students brought slaves to go with them? >> if you think about this within happen is if you look at the name of the president and than three lines of, part of the
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taxable property is an enslaved person. what you often have is for instance, in the case of princeton or harvard, you will actually have the president's name, ditto the college. well, who owns the person? in the common knowledge of the time, on the local area, the president and the college is kind of inseparable. >> craig steven wilder on the connection between elite universities and the past intertwined with slavery sunday night at nine on "after words," part of booktv this weekend on c-span2. >> the national press club's committee yesterday examined the role of government public affairs officers. john donnelly, the committee chairman, moderates the 90 minute discussion with journalists and former government public affairs officials. >> welcome to the national press
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club, and to this evening's discussion of whether or not federal public affairs offices have become a hindrance more than help for press freedom and open government. or if you like, are shorter, -- my name is john donnelly, i'm a reporter with "congressional quarterly" and roll call, and i'm the chairman of the national press club press freedom committee, which is sponsoring tonight's event, along with the young members committee. you can find out more about the national press club and membership therein at press.org. we are the leading organization in the world for journalists. tonight's event is being broadcast, webcast on that site. it will be archived there later. it's also being broadcast on c-span2 right now. if you're following us on twitter, the handle is at press club d.c. and hashtag is open government. and one other sort of programming note, the panelists
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presentation will be available at a website called pao's and reporters, and reporters about blog. i want to say first of all that as a reporter i should disclose, and i'm biased, in favor of as much openness and disclosure as possible and as few rules as possible about who can talk to reporters and the federal government and how. but i also recognize, and i really mean this, public affairs as an indispensable job to do. but i would like to make a few comments just to set the stage for tonight's event. our discussion tonight is about their growing and some say harmful role played by public affairs offices in the federal government. the complaints that we hear from reporters are of out widespread requirements that paos, public
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affairs officers, must be present during interviews. that questions be written in advance and that only certain people can be made available to say certain things. what is arguably most chilling to the flow of information to the public are federal rules at the pentagon, that require employees to only speak to reporters through official public affairs accounts. the courts have actually sided with these rules. they have found that government employees don't have an unbridled first amendment right, free speech. when they are talking about official public information. it was a 2006 supreme court ruling, and her decision, -- but in any event that was their ruling. legally speaking to a nonlawyer in your comment doesn't appear these rules aren't going
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anywhere. now, sometimes as a mention in the pentagon it's a hard and fast requirement and there's implied disciplinary results. if you're an employee who talks to reporters off-line. but in many agencies the rules merely encourage but don't require. but no matter which way it happens, the message seems to be that it's not good for your career to talk to a reporter off line, even if the subject isn't classified or proprietary. a couple of weeks you we had a former nsa official turned whistleblower thomas drake here at a press club luncheon. and he said that when federal employees obtain or renew security clearances, and there are interviewed by investigators, one of the questions the past, at least some of the time, is whether the employee has ever had unauthorized contact with a reporter. not unauthorized conduct involving classified or proprietary information, but any unauthorized contact. to a lot of us that was
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disturbing because we thought by merely asking that question in the context, they're sending the message, intentional or not, that speaking to the press off line is forbidden and could even make you a security risk. obviously, the bradley manning and edward snowden leaks have raised the temperature on this issue considerably, particularly in the security agency. the nl the message was made in a really hard-core way in a june 2012 defense department document, about a so-called insider the program and it was obtained recently by the news and it said quote hammer this fact tone, leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the united states, closed quote. now, if i was equally applied it would be a lot of senior administration officials in this administration and previous ones that would be in a lot of trouble. of course, it's not apply. the net effect of all this, the
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real deterrent to people speaking with the press outside of official channels, and let's face it, speaking to people outside the fifth of official channels sometimes has to happen. often has to happen for the truth that needs to come out. now, having said all that let me be clear about a couple of things. we reported appreciate public affairs offices when they help, and they very, very often do. and i don't know anyone who wants to do away with these offices. and even if they did want it, it ain't going to happen so fast on the table for discussion here, just like the rules governing what government employees can say and can't say. the contact with reporters is probably not going anywhere. most reporters understand the job of public affairs to make sure that an agency's point of view is expressed going to lay and that rogue voices are not confuse with official policy. now, the pentagon, and the going to turn and introduce our panel in one second but my last
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thought here is the pentagon had an interesting item in what they call the statement of principles about relations with the media. it says that public affairs officers should quote act as liaisons but should not interfere with the reporting process. that sounds like a great summary to me of where we should end up. of course, everyone here would probably agree with that. the rub comes in defining what constitutes interference. and i hope we get some answers here tonight. so here's how it's going to work. i'm going to introduce our panel and then going to get each of them a few minutes to weigh in with their overall take on the issue. and then we'll have some q&a time among ourselves up here, and then we'll open it up to you all in the audience. so now let's go ahead and meet our panel. working his way down, carolyn carlson, a former associated press reporter and assistant professor of communication at kennesaw state university near atlanta, and the author of two
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surveys on the relationship between public affairs staff and the press. you can tell about some of the service this evening. next is kathryn foxhall, a freelance reporter and a member of the press club president committee who has extensively researched this issue. then comes linda peterson, managing editor of the valley journals of salt lake, the freedom of information chair for the society of professional journalists, and the president of the utah foundation for open government. to my left and you're right, tony fratto, managing partner at hamilton place strategies, a strategic communications and crisis management consultancy. tony is also an on air contributor on the cnbc business news network, and he was formerly deputy assistant to president george w. bush and principal deputy press secretary. and john verrico, president-elect of the national association of government
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communicators. so starting with carolyn, let's hear what you have to say, give us your overview of the subject. >> i'm going to tell you about a couple surveys i've conducted this year, and the previous year. that are relevant to the topic we're discussing tonight. first, i surveyed reporters who cover federal agencies here in washington. i've got 146 respondents within margin of error of about 7%. then i surveyed current and former members of the national association of government communicate is, at 154 responses from a margin of error of about 4.3%. i'm going to throw some numbers at you but i want to quantify the situation. my questions focus on the indie thing process. for someone to talk about preapproval and routing. 98% of public affairs officers believe that they have a better idea than reporters about who in
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the agencies would be the best person to give an interview on a given topic. three quarters of journalists report they have to give approval from pao before the community and agency employ. seven out of 10 reporters say that their requests for interviews are forwarded for selective routing to whoever the train to suggest. so that's the indie thing process. about half the reporters say the agencies are out right prohibit them for indie thing altogether, at least some of the time, 18% since it happens most of the time. two-thirds of the trinity say they still justify in refusing to grant interviews when the agency security threatens or when it might reveal damaging information. three-fourths of paos know that journalists try to go around them to contact staff members directly.
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nine out of 10, however, say staff members now and will prefer the reporters today paos when they been contacted directly. and, of course, more than half of the reporters say that they do try to go around and circumvencircumven t the public affairs officer, at least some of the time. as far as the issue of trust, majority of paos say there are no reporters that they trust enough to contact staff directly without going through the public affairs office. only about a third said that they had reporters that they would give free rein to contact staff without going through the public affairs office, and according to my open-ended comments, most of the times these were longtime reporters. in contrast, there were 40%, 39, 39.6 i think, of the paos said there were specific reporters they prohibited the staff of
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talking to altogether. due to problems with their stories in the past. so they banned certain reporters. 40% said they were specific report that they banned. in fact, 14% said there was a whole media outlet that they would ban their staff members from talking to because of problems with their stories in the past. on the issue of monitoring, two-thirds of paos feel it is misery to supervise and otherwise monitor interviews with members of the agency staff. 85% of reporters said they get monitored at least some of the time. the way a breakdown is a third said some of the time, a third said most of the time, 16% said all of the time they get monitored. free forced paos feel that monitoring the interviews is a good way to make sure that the agency staff is quoted correctly in the story. about 40% of paos said that the use their case notes that
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the monitor to dispute misquotes. however, only 70% said that they tried to require reporters to review their quotes with them before publication. fully three-fourths of paos said they did not require prepublication review. so i asked them, attitude questions, and the reporters view of pao control is pretty clear. seven out of 10 reporters agree with the statement i considered government agency controls over who i interviewed to be a form of censorship. 85% of journalists agree with the statement that the public is not getting the information it needs because of barriers agencies are imposing on journalists reporting practices. pao attitudes are also clear. two-thirds of paos believe
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that controlling media coverage of an agency is a very important part of protecting the agency's reputation. and virtually all, i think 98%, agree that the job is to make sure that accurate, positive information from the agency is conveyed to the public. so that is where the issue stands as far as reporters in washington and public affairs officers. >> thank you. kathryn? >> not so long ago some reporters walked the halls of agencies in unique critically needed graduate schools, they talk to and got to know staff. got stories, perspectives and education fluidly. just like this was a united states or something. but over the last 20 years, leaders have cratered a surge of
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blocking reporters from communicating to staff unless they are tracked and/or monitored by the public affairs officers. the public relations controllers. it is massive, pernicious, censorship that's now a cultural norm. no matter what they know, employees are prohibited from ever communicating with us without guard working at the behest of the bosses and the political structure. it's people in power stopping the flow of information to the public, according to their own ideas and desires. how can the united states prohibit people from speaking without reporting to the authorities? journalists, why are we so buffaloed? this is not some in violent way
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of life. it's just a main power grab that officials started pouring resources into relatively recently. the impact is drastic. i estimate that for many specialized reporters, at least, communication with staff is down 90%. never doubt the rotting, debilitating effect of silencing people. the gravediggers at arlington cemetery knew about the jumbled craze for years. janitors at penn state me about the child abuse for years. -- knew about the child abuse for years. so what i'll do we not know now? one thing, in public, fda says congress has not given the agency all it requested for monitoring the skyrocketing pharmaceutical imports. 40% of drugs now come from
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overseas. we urgently need reporters talking to fda people in policy jobs and in the front line inspecting jobs, and away from the sensors. regularly, not just don't dig investigations. does the import situation keep fda staff people up at night? are we in predisaster mode waiting for bloggers -- body to show before we get serious, or not? what would staff and say away from the guard? it's something because it always is. it is unethical and inhumane to kill or confine information gathering. with millions of people silenced in thousands of public and private workplaces, of various
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moral persuasion, reporters cannot hope that our skill and hard work are making up for this. the ethical burden is now right on journalism. we can fight ti e can be the ethical partner in and training it for the future. a warning about compromises. in our weakened state, some reporters say i will go through the pao controls if they would just let me through without the delay, the monitoring, the outright blockages that have become so stunningly aggressive. but that's a sellout of free speech. we will be passing on sterilized stories, while bending power to an agency or a political
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administration. and we, ourselves, the reporters won't see the difference. finally, a question. why don't we instead have tracking and monitoring of all the communications of all the agency leadership? thank you. >> linda? >> kathryn and carolyn have both done a good job of portraying what it's like at the federal level, but i want to talk a little bit more than that. many of you may and the frustration of your job in washington, d.c. thought maybe i should give it up here in d.c. and i should go to some little back would community can work and sit down and chew the fat with a mayor. i'm here today to tell you there is no such community anymore. these policies, these wasted in business of government, have not just trickled that have poured
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down from the federal level to the state level to the smallest communities in our country. .. >> i called a small community parks and rec person to find out the time of the local easter egg hunt. he told me he couldn't tell me, because he had been instructed not to speak to the press. fortunately, i went round him and found out the time for those many hundreds of parents and kids who wanted to show up. we get to this point all the time in the smaller communities. most of the time the news we
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cover is not earth shattering, it's of the day-to-day lives that we live, the impact. the storm drain project that you're so curious about because last year you sucked out a foot of water from your basement, or the roads repair that you want to know about because, heck, it seems like you have been driving on that rotten road with the orange cones forever. and these are the things that they are obstructing us to find out about. we're running into the same situations in our neck of the woods where they want the pao to sit in with the engineer as they talk about road base and death and things like that. truthfully, i really don't think the pao would have the first clue if the engineer screwed up and said it backwards. many times we, because we cover these day in, day out things know more than cio. i had the pao not too long ago -- well, it was a while ago, it was closer to 9/11 -- we were
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doing a story on a water tank, a 500-million gallon water tank in this rural community. and i asked for the address. and he told me he couldn't give me the address because of homeland security concerns. well, i don't know about you, but i really don't think a is suburb of salt lake city in utah is a pri pair target forral child -- primary target for al-qaeda. but he couldn't give it to me. what we did was we got in the car, and we drove out to approximately where we knew it was. it's a little hard to hide a 500-million gallon tank. and we wrote down the address, and we published it. nothing happened. al-qaeda must have us way down on that to do list because we in suburban saut lake city are
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okay. we do have great paos that we work with who do understand they're truly there to facilitate the flow of information, not to control it, not to dam it, not to divert it, just to let it happen. we all know the old adage that knowledge is power, but in the 21st century, in 2013 anybody who has a teenager knows that information is power. and that's what we're seeking. we're not seeking generally to expose great conspiracies, although, of course, we need to when that happens. there were no weapons of mass destruction ever found in iraq. i don't know if the government's still looking, but we're still waiting. on our local level there may be instances of nepotism, but most of the time it's the day in, day out things that you want to know about. what's happening with your kids in the schools? what's happening with the city council? are they or are they not going to raise your property taxes?
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pios who get in the middle of that misunderstand what the process is about. first of all, nobody ever elected a pao. no pao of yet has a formal vote on a city, state or federal business. so why does the government think that the public wants to hear everything that happens from the pao when it's an issue that you want to hear about. you want to know from your councilman why did you vote that way, not from a second or third party saying this is why he voted that way or she voted that way. some reporters like to say, well, that's just the way it is, and they say, well, i'm a good reporter, i just get round them. but that's not the point. first of all, there aren't that many good reporters left, and the ones coming out of school are a fearful generation. they're very, very happy to do what they're told, and they're very happy to ask permission
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which is a very scary prospect. i find that time and again i hire them and i fire them because it's at my level that they come to work, and it's my level they say, but if i ask the mayor that, it will make him mad. but the pio said it was a good story. and my response is, right? there's the door, okay? but we can't just sit still and wait for somebody else to stand up to this. this is, as katherine pointed out, the united states of america. our mandate is to report the truth, not what the pio tells us is the truth. even what the cio thinks is the truth. the truth as we can find it. whether it is the time of an easter egg hunt or a national policy. it's america, the land of the free, the land of the free press. and the people that we serve,
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the people that we are a conduit for, the public of the united states of america has a right to this information. thank you. >> thank you. tony? [laughter] >> it's funny, whenever we have these constitutions, and is they actually happen a lot, you know, i think we look at them in one of two ways. one we just heard, right, is that the public affairs officers are pretty much, you know, obstacles and ill-informed boobs, and reporters are universeally good and have the interest of the public at heart. or it's the opposite, right? is that, you know, reporters are evil scoundrels looking to embarrass public officials and make mockery of the policy making process, and the only thing standing between this evil horde and the print are public affairs officers. my experience in, you know, 20
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years of this is, actually, it's a pretty, it's pretty much a normal bell curve distribution of talent among both public affairs officers and reporters which means that among both reporters and public affairs officers, some are really not very good, all right? some are excellent, right? but the vast majority are average to above average. the ones that are below average tend to get out of the business on either side. so that's what you're going to see, and that is one reason why there are a lot of rules. now, there's undoubtedly a lot of, there are obstacles to really good relationships, some of which you just heard. but let me look at it from sort of both sides on this, and i'll start with just a list of some of the obstacles on the official side, on the press officer's side and then some on the media side and then talk a little bit about some of the problems. and i hope we can get into some of these, some of these, you
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know, the discussion a little bit more when we get into, we get into questions. but on the official side, you know, we talked about trust, and i hope we get to talk a little bit more about trust. trust, trust is actually a very simple thing. it's the use of e-mail. technology is great and efficient, but reporters and press officers don't actually talk very much anymore. so much of it is over e-mail, nuance goes away. and when you have to talk to someone, you can develop trust, and, you know, forget about even meeting in person. there was a time when you actually had to, we mad to meet -- we had to meet reporters in person, and that's less prevalent today. i have some reporters who connell communicate by direct message on twitter. it's efficient, but it's not quite the same. we have some bad traditions in press shops which is that you can earn your stripes by beating
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up reporters, right? some people think like this is good. if you can lay the wood to a reporter, that this is a mark of being tough with the media with. it's an awful tradition, but it is -- i can tell you it exists. there's some degree of ignorance on the part of a lot of press offices. a lot of press officers do not understand how important it is for them to really master their issues, the policy making process, the people that they're working with, the day-to-day news and really what's going on. you have to work really, really hard at it to be good at it. and there's still fear on the official side and among press officers about dealing with what may or may not be bad news, right? if you talk to any -- my profession today where i'm advising people, everyone will tell you, every professional will tell you put out any bad news on your own terms. get it out, push it out, talk
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about it, explain it, tell your story. don't met it -- don't let it come out in disjointed ways. but the courage to do that is really lacking. on the media side, there's also ignorance, all right? there's some terrific reporters out there. more and more of them with knowledge and experience are exiting the business. it is really, really rare to find really good reporters with the length of time on a beet it takes to master -- on a beat it takes to master that beat. before i went to the white house, i was at the treasury department for five and a half years dealing with really complex economic issues. the reporters there were brilliant. the reporters today are so young, and older reporters are very expensive for news organizations, and they're exiting the business, and they're really, really young, inexperienced reporters who have a steep hill to climb on the information side.
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the news so fast, right? the speed of delivering news today, it results in a publish-first -- there's a bias towards publishing first. you can publish, and you can correct it or update it 10 or 20 minutes later. you have the whole day to actually allow a news story to achieve some level of balanced reporting. and that's, you know, that's the world we live in. i don't complain about it, but it changes the nature of how we, of how we deal with reporters. what is news? there used to be a time when there was news, and there was opinion. and opinion was found on the editorial page or the op-ed page, right? now we have blogs, we have news analysis, we have reporters who go on and offer opinion, commentary on television but write straight news for the news pages. we have reporters who tweet their opinions but also write
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straight news stories, right? and so you joked about not having, your reporters not allowed to have opinions, well, of course, everyone has opinions, but we see it more now, right? so it's a little bit different. the blog pages make that more difficult also. far more news analysis. there's great value in it, but it also, it leads you to question and wonder where, you know, the views of reporters are if they stray from straight news reporting. bad traditions on the reporter side also, right? too many times i've gotten that phone call at 4:30 in the afternoon for a story that's already been written looking for the administrative response to the story, right? the administration's -- what that really means is that we need your quote to put in the last graph of this story so i can hit the publish button, all right? we can go back and look at how many times there is a quote from
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tony fratto, the last graph of a story. that's probably because i got a call at 4:30 in the afternoon saying that we're about to publish. an awful way to develop trust between reporters and public officials and public affairs officers. and finally, conflict makes for a much better story. like, we know this, right? so if we're in the middle of the policy making process and treasury has a view on, you know, because we're deliberating housing policy and hud has a different view, right, and what makes for a great story is reporting that difference of views. and what happens is that it's not -- it's never reported as just deliberation or, you know, experts trying to determine what's the best policy. rd as a dispute between treasury and hud, and inevitable search for a winner and loser in that a.
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there must be a loser for every winner when policy is finally decided, right? that is not healthy for the policy making process to be -- if you don't get your way 100%, to be labeled in the press the loser. it's not really good for having internal policy debate. so when there is trust, and i've had so much experience with really terrific reporters where there's great trust, where we can have great discussions on policy, it really works well. never turned down, in my eight years in government, especially my five and a half years at treasury, never turned down an interview. never kept a reporter from talking to an official, all right? that's about as -- aside from having reporters actually in the room while we debate policy, you know, that's pretty open.
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and had great relationships with reporters. it can be done well. but the rules are there for a reason. not rules on reporters, rules on staff. and two big rules or reasons. one is that there's an asymmetry in talent, all right? if john donnelly with his decades of experience talks to a deputy assistant secretary at treasury who has never in his life spoken to a reporter before, there's an asymmetry in talent. one is really, really good at his craft, and the other one isn't and might not even know the rules of sourcing, momentum know how to talk to a -- doesn't know how to talk to a reporter, doesn't know what the traditions are in talking to a reporter. that's helped by a good professional public affairs officer. the other is the a asymmetry in knowledge, right? a lot of public officials work
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in hives. they don't know what's happening in other parts of government, they don't know what was said yesterday by sometimes even the secretary of their department. they don't know what other stuff this reporter has been, has been reporting on. that official can be helped by talking to a public affairs office and getting some guidance about, you know, what is the story, what is the reporter really after, why is he, you know, why does he want to talk to you, all right? you can help that, you can help that along. so those are two great, those are two great reasons a press officer can help with them. and then just two final thoughts. as i said, the rules are for staff. they're not for reporters. all right? i've never imposed rules on reporters. i do, i have always in the past had rules with staff, and we can
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get into and explain why, more about why i think that makes sense. but it's not -- i've never taken it out on a reporter for calling, you know, going around and calling. the job of a reporter, as was stated, is to try to find information and to ask questions and to develop sources. it's crucial to the job. i've never blamed a reporter for doing his job, and i have many times defended a reporter for making those phone calls, right? that's the reporter's job. it's my job to police my own house and to make sure that my officials are doing what they need to do. and second, you know, for press officers they have an obligation to know their subject areas, to master it, to educate reporters always, to develop trust relationships with reporters, to
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prepare and train their officials to be very good communicators not to limit information, but to be good communicators to make up for that decades start that the reporter might have on them and to help reporters develop useful sources. and i underline that because it's really, really important for a reporter to have useful sources. that doesn't mean that i'm not going to be in the room and that it's, you know, it's open door all the time. but it's really, really important for reporters to have good, professional reporters with relationships with policy officials. there's a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it, so i'll leave it there and wait until we get to questions. >> thank you. john? >> okay, great. >> john verrico. >> thank you. i want to start off by saying that i think this, the concept
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of this hack versus flak is a little misleading because really we have the same mission and the same goal in mind on the public affairs side as well as on the media side. we both want to communicate information to the public. so we really are working toward the same goal. and the government, i'll go on record and say the government needs the media to help us in this process because your readers trust you to be an honest and trusted translator of technical government information, of difficult-to-understand policy be. they're looking to get things explained to them in ways that they can understand. your readers trust you to provide that information in an unbiased manner. and you have, because you have devoted readers or watchers or whatever, listeners as the case
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may be, because of that you can reach sectors of the public that we may not be able to directly target ourself which is pretty much everybody. the government has web sites, we've got social media and all those other ways that we communicate with the public, but we really do need to work well with the media in order to get our information out. so we heard several people talk about trusted relationships, and i think trusted relationships are really the core here. and just like everyone has said, i mean, trusted relationships goes both ways. you need to be able to that we are giving you the complete and accurate information. and at the same time, we need to trust that you're going to take that information, and you're going to use it correctly and in good faith and within the context which it was intended. now, i have been many -- been in this field 32 years, and you're supposed to gasp in disbelief at that. oh, you're too young for that. [laughter] but i've been doing this for 32
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years and in that 32 years and all the thousands and thousands of reporters i've worked with, i can count on one hand -- four times -- when a reporter has intentionally misused the information that i provided. intentionally. there's always mistakes, there's always stories that come out, and they are negative in tone because that's the way story was. as far as actually intentionally taking the information and using it in an improper manner, i can count only four times in thousands and thousands of reporters. this that tells me. in general i can trust you guys. what i'm hoping is that you have all felt over these same 32 years that i'm also trustworthy. and i've strived to work toward that. and i think a great majority of public affairs officers do strive for that goal. i'll tell you now, and we had some side conversations earlier, the landscape of journalism has changed in the past several
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decades. when i first started years ago, there were more specialized journalists, there were more beat reporters not just dedicated to the government beat, but dedicated to specific subject matter. i was talking to folks from the environmental writers' association earlier, and the tim wheelers are gone now. there are very few folks that have been on the beat writing those kinds of stories, environmental stories in that particular case for decades. back when i used to work for the maryland department of environment, i used to work with tim wheeler all the time at the baltimore sun. he had been writing environmental stories for decades. he understood the technical issues. he understood the historical context of the environmental issues in the state of maryland. sometimes even better than the scientists and engineers and folks that i was working with. over the decades the landscape has changed, and we're seeing fewer -- and it's more expensive to keep these seasoned reporters
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and these dedicated reporters -- so we're seeing fewer reporters that are that dedicated and reporters that are more general assignment. and that means that you guys, you reporters have to run around and cover a variety of different topics. and you don't have the time to spend to learn the detail. you get enough detail that you need for your story, but there's only so much that you can, you can do when you're general assignment. so there's an education factor now that has to be built in. we have to -- and this is where the public affairs officer comes in. we help in that translation to provide that historical context, to provide that technical context and explain it to you as best as we can. i'm not saying you everybody, there's seasoned folks here too. but these are the important things to understand as we've watched this landscape change. there is a lower factor of trust
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of working with reporters who don't necessarily have the background or who don't have the time to do the research other than what they can quickly do in a google search. so back when i worked with folks like the tim wheelers of the world, i could trust tim wheeler to call the scientists directly and talk at a very knowledgeable level between them. when the new reporters came in who were general assignment folks, they didn't have the understanding of the environmental context, they couldn't do that as well. and so i needed to be there kind of to help to be that translator. now, over the 32 years of my career, i've worked at federal level, i've worked at state-level government and also in the military. and over those years, um, the -- i'll get to that in a secondful. -- second. i lost that additional point.
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what's basically happening is that our job and my job has been, has changed more to do more of that facilitation than i used to do in the past. i help you find the information you need, explain the complex information, like i said, and more importantly, find the subject matter expert who can explain things to you. tony, you mentioned working in hives, and it's so true. a lot of our subject matter experts are microfocused. and the point i was going to say about the 32 years, in most of that career i've worked with scientists, engineers and cops, and none of them speak in plain language. and so they may be experts in their field, but they may not know how, what it is they do in the lab, on the street, whatever
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affects a larger policy or how something might be implemented outside of the lab. that's the context that you're looking for, because most of the time a reporter doesn't want to know the gee whiz science that's happening in the lab. they want to know how's this really going to affect things in the real world. so the other part of this, too, is subject matter experts, the government officials, are frequently afraid to talk to the press. and it's not because of the dire consequences of possibly, you know, getting in trouble, but they've heard reports and they've seen reports over the years of misquotes, and they've heard the nightmares, oh, they took that out of context, they got my story wrong. or a perfectly well-balanced story comes out, but it wasn't a positive story. so that, to them, is a nightmare. well, they put down my programming. no, they didn't. they told the balance ld side.
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well, why did they talk to that guy? he's on the opposition of it. well, that's your job, is to give that fair and balanced story. so the government officials don't really recognize the fact that a balanced story is as good as we're going to get. and, again, that's our job. i have to tell you as public affairs officers, believe it or not, you may think we're the bad guys, but we are normally advocating on your behalf internally. we're the ones who are convincing the officials they should talk to you. we are the ones who are helping to get the subject matter experts, the scientists, the engineers, the cops comfortable with being able to get out and get in front of a microphone or get in front of the camera and actually talk to folks. we help keep subject matter be experts focused. we help to provide the context, we follow up on the interviews to give you the information that's going to add to your
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understanding of the story, and we insure that you, when you walk out of the office or when you hang up the phone or at the end of the send you have every bit of information that you need to write a complete story. that is our goal. now, another thing you're probably not going to believe, and i come from a dod background, i used to work in the navy, i was active duty navy and then was in the reserves for 15 years, but the military public affairs folks are trained to the maximum disclosure, minimum delay. and i've always worked under that, and a lot of people do not just in dod, but they actually take that to heart at the federal level, state level and local levels. really want to get out as much information as they possibly can with the minimum amount of delay. now, where do the clays come in -- the delays come in? the delays come in because before information can go out,
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we've got to make sure it doesn't violate one of four things, and there are four caveats. and one is -- the boundaries x. it's security, obviously, we don't want to reveal information that's going to violate security. and just for your understanding, security and damaging information are not necessarily the same thing. and carolyn and i had a discussion about that on one of her interview questions that we should have probably broken that out into possibly two separate questions, because damaging information has nothing to do with security. damaging information -- damaging to your reputation has nothing to do with whether or not you're damaging security. so security is the first concern. the second is act rahs key -- accuracy. the third is policy, and it also includes privacy. and when i say that, the government just by nature of what we do has access to a lot of private information. of we get business-sensitive information from industry, we get personal identifying
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information from people who are applying for services. there are all sorts of things where those kinds of things come into play, and it is government policy not to release the fames of the injured before their next of kin have been notified. things like that. and then the final thing is propriety, and that's to make sure we are not out there absolutely insulting the sensibilities of the public. so those are the four things that we're looking at when we're screening information before we give it to you. we're making sure that it meets all those criteria. and that's the important step that's happening behind the scenes. ..
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>> okay, why did you want to know about the standards in x-ray technology? he reall really was right and te stench of x-ray technology. he was running that stands in general and how they're applied in industry. he was using that as an example. because in a interaction he finally opened up and told me what he was riding. writing. i was able to give him an enormous story on standards and how they're applied and how they are set. instead of just micro focus it on the initial question, which was writing about the x-ray. so tell us what you're rewriting about and we can help you. and don't automatically assume that the government is evil and we are hiding stuff. because that is not the case. journalists have a code of ethics, trust but verify, but also not to violate the truth.
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just as well the government public affairs folks, believe it or not we have a code of ethics. that could've ethics from the national association of government communicators, i'll do what we believe, that truth is sacred, the providing public information is an essential civil service and the public at large, and each citizen is therein, has a right to equal, full, understandable and timely facts about the government. i'll tell you now that at the federal, state, local government levels, public affairs officers take this to heart, really do strive to uphold the spirit of those ethics. >> thank you. thank you all. is the anything that was said on this side that you all didn't get a chance to include in your comments that you want to touch on? or is there anything that you want to talk about in terms of we have talked about perhaps starting with a discussion, it seems like you did a thorough job of going over how media and
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public affairs officers interact. but is it anything you want to add, either view -- if you come in terms of what i think is the core of the debate which is the requirement in the agencies that officials only talk to reporters through the public affairs officers? >> i think, two things. one is there was some comment about its censorship or restricting freedom, and if there isn't some line drawn. look, i'll never excuse the bad practices of, particularly poor public affairs officers. there's a lot of them out there. some of the poor work by reporters either. i know none of you do either, but unless, we are not going have the reporters in the room
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when policy deliberations are taking place. and i wouldn't expect that. so somewhere there's going to be a line drawn as to when it is and is not appropriate to be communicating with reporters. when is the time, how much, there are reasonable standards for that i think. but where they are, i think the issue will be a matter, some often, some negotiation. so it's not, you can call it censorship when a press officer is in the room. i think probably a little bit hyperbolic for what a good press officer might be trying to do. socom you know, like i said i
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think there are ways for professionals to do the right it way. i think we could do a lot better job of teaching how do the right way. i think not to be teaching how to do it, you know, how to do it in respectful way so more information gets out. i person, look, i have a reputation really liking reporters, which i don't know, some, if it's a good relationship or not. i like reports. i respect what they have to do and i think they are a good way to work that way. >> as you were talking about, thinking to myself, we shouldn't have got such a laudable public affairs people up here. we should've found some really crappy ones so we could point to their way. because these guys do it right. [laughter] tony, you said that reporters shouldn't be punished for going around the press office. what about government employees? >> they should be punished. [laughter] >> whippings, beatings.
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>> right. >> you know, here's the way i look at it. used to talk to our stuff all the time, a special treasury department, where, you know, john mentioned, a lot of staff, believe it or not, you don't understand, like a really, really, really don't want to talk to you. i'm trying to talk them into talking to you. they don't want to. and so, you know, there is a real reluctance and distrust of a lot of officials talking to reporters. so that's one thing. we really are often in the corner of reporters to try to helping these officials understand that they could talk him you can trust this reporter, you can talk to them, it's okay. they just feel like they will be screwed, they will be embarrassed, there'll be a quote in the paper that were then. what did they get out of it?
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what's good for them out of it? so often, i have been an advocae for reporters. that's one. second part is, you know, if you're talking, you know, if you're talking to reporters all the time, you know, you are known as the person who talks to reporters all the time. not necessarily great for your reputation. so when there is the leaks above, about some piece of news, maybe it is damaging or whatever, where's the first place to look at? a guy who talks to reporters all the time. so it's not necessarily great for your reputation. some guys who didn't want to be embarrassed that they talk to reporter come and they would call me in the room and say come
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on going to call him back, can you silently listen in? some of the reporters don't know this, right? because you thought you were talking to someone without someone listening but they wanted someone there to help listen to the conversation so they know, you know, they could help along and it. >> they want a witness to the fact that they didn't say what showed up in the paper. >> okay, they're definitely people who don't want to talk to reporters. but then are also people who might want to talk to reporters. and so my question remains, do you agree, do you to agree with the rules that are on the books in the pentagon, for example, that say that those people, if they talk to reporters outside official channels, should be subject to disciplinary action? >> i think in the national, i think there's a national security, and national security agencies, i think it is a
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different standard than in other agencies. i think it's a different standard sometimes dealing with, you know, market sensitive information, not going to have an open book on market sensitive information. and so, you know, i think that should be subject to some form of discipline. i do think there different standards in different obligations with the level of information, absolutely. >> john, did you want to add anything? >> it really depends on what the state cannot damaging information can be. >> i would like to elaborate on a couple things, and it was sent i think earlier a good reporter we'll go round the pao. that's assuming that if you work through apl and you were through
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channels, then you're not a good reporter but i don't think that's the case. i think what defines a good reporter is the ultimate quality of the accuracy and the balance of the final piece. and so when you go through official channels or around official channels has nothing to do whether or not you're good reporter. it depends on, really what it comes down to is how well you trust officials. >> i would disagree with that, because i think that obviously could reporters work for public affairs people, but if a reporter is stymied by a public affairs person, a good reporter we'll go around that public affairs person and will try to find information in another way. don't you agree? >> we expect you to don't do that. again, that's not good reporter versus bad reporter is a bad reporter, a bad reporter would be someone who walks away from the story. but what i'm saying is that when you said, or someone said, a good reporter goes around the
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pao, that's not, that's a whole different type of thing. we would expect you will try to do that. but again, i see much less of a stymieing that you're referring to. >> why would you go around? >> exactly. >> i'm going to use an example. those of you who are in this area in the '90s when history was discovered, a microbe, norman is an algae eater, kind of relatively benign but it is one of these odd little microbes that can change its physical form. and it can do that in 24 different stages completed or not i can do it at well. which makes it a scary thing so what happened was when it feels it needs to do something or needs a nutrient like i need vegetables or whatever, when we
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get a craving, they get a craving. i got a sweet tooth, i need something exotic change the chemical composition. and they will release a chemical in the water which triggers fish to be, to get sensitive. and then those fish will release a chemical and that's the trigger chemical for a microbe. it's all scary kind of weird stuff. what happened is this nice benign al-jadida can become a flesh eater. so now we were winding up with hundreds of thousands of fish washing up on the shore bed with big open nasty sores. the commercial fishermen in maryland were catching fish with big open source on which they couldn't sell, and so people were in a panic about what the heck was going on with fish. well, the scientists were working for the government were so fascinated by this unique microbe, that they actually forgotten the fact that people were afraid. so when the initial interviews,
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initial stories started coming out, the scientists were talking about this amazing microbe and all these amazing things that it does, they didn't put into, they didn't put into the context of what was happening. what was happening, fish were ingesting this microbe, so as a scary thing to get to the public affairs folks to help translate that, did these scientists on track, say get your head out of the lab and position report context, what does this mean to people? can eat the fish? that's the first thing you want to know. so that's an example i wanted to give about pao can really make a big difference. >> thank you. i think we spent a good site on the side of things i want to revisit you all. you're still there, right? someone to give you a chance now, just throwing it out there whoever wants to come. you for a lot over here now.
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rather than me through a question to you for starters i want to give you a chance, if there's something you've heard that you want to particularly address, go for it. >> first of all i agree with you, john. if tony -- >> which john? >> tony and the other john. the paos we are dealing with on the daily basis, suspecting would have very few problems. but what the statistics of carolyn's surveys, and aside from the whole bell curve is that more and more of the pal is -- paos are exhibiting with the proper dealing with. i disagree, tony, that reporters are not punished for going around are not abiding by the rule. many paos have rose for reporters, not just her staffers. and if you disobey the rules, the consequences, there's a
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blackballing that happens to some reporters. there's a hierarchy of we will give information or we will hold conferences with these reports but we will even send out press releases to these news outlets and not these. they are is definitely a punishment factor. that's what i think so many of the reporters have been silenced for as long as, well, if i make waves, if i protest this is going to be a consequence. another thing that concerns me is this idea so many governments being afraid unwilling to talk to us. i think there has to be an understanding among governments all the way from the top to the bottom, the name, public servant and civil servant still means something. we are their bosses. they need to be trained to be okay with talking to us. they would rather talk to one
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reporter, surely, than 100 people from the local area who are concerned about x. subject, the data out, calling them or e-mail them. so i think this idea that there's so many government people who can't talk to us, you talk to your boss. it's just a given. there is no organization where an employee goes, oh, i've got to tell the boss what i'm doing. he scares me, or she scares me. so i think there needs to be a training of government people to at least some basic level, say because you work for the government there is an exploit patient -- expectation that you may need to talk to the public. whether it is the public in the form of reporter of the public in terms of joe q. citizen who calls or e-mails. that's what you got to do.
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>> i think one very basic thing is not being addressed is the fact that on a routine, on a very frequent, almost routine basis, when we do talk to people away from the quote surveillance, the story is very different. and things come out sometimes massive, critical things that are not going to come out when the person is being quote watched by the agency. they are in effect being watched why their bosses and the entire political administration for time immemorial that's how things have. and it's almost a routine fact of life. this surveillance stopped that from coming up but also the thing about not putting roads on reporters, that's kind of a distinction without a
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difference. if you stop everybody in the agency from talking without the surveillance, then you have stopped that communication. and silencing people is just one of the most extraordinarily serious things that can happen in any situation or society. >> i just want to remind you that almost 40% of paos say that they do punish reporters who write the stories they don't like. and prohibit the staff from talking to them. so it's not something that isn't happening. it's happening quite a bit. that's almost half. i mean, that's a lot. two-thirds of paos are monitoring interviews. said this is not an insignificant problem. >> if i could just on that, i
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might have said it wrong when i said i wasn't saying that rules on reporters don't happen. i said they ought not. that's not the way operate with reporters. my rules are for reporters. reporters work for other people. they don't work for me. i never, except for standard rules in a press conference come in normal sourcing rules that we agree to. they agree on sourcing and hold each other to that sourcing, and i think those rules are sort of mutually binding and beneficial. and then also on, you know, accompanying officials to reporters, you can call a surveillance or whatever. i can tell you my view it ought to be 100%, not 40%.
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i don't see it as a bad thing and i also don't see it as necessarily chilling of information. there seems to be a presumption that if the reporter is asking a question, they are entitled to all the information that an official has to give. that is an extraordinary presumption that all of the information is open to reporters. never been a tradition of government at all. there is going to be some judgment involved and some information is not appropriate for dissemination at the moment a reporter happens to be asking the question. that's not nefarious. that's not censorship. that's not anti-democratic or a violation of any of the amendments of the constitution. it's just a matter of common sense in the middle of a deliberative discussion, or
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sometimes an official doesn't actually know whether it is appropriate to divulge some information because it may be actually illegal for him to divulge certain information if it's a national security issue. so the presumption that it's open come on when any time a reporter asked a question, it's an extraordinary presumption. >> don't you think the presence of a public affairs officers in an interview we need someone to potentially varnished what they're saying, or not say something that it's appropriate for them to say maybe that is critical to get out there? doesn't have any affect? >> absolutely. taken down for have some, absolutely. >> by the way, you did not miss speak earlier when you said that you did not think there should be recognition for reporters to you said it doesn't happen. i heard you. you said it right.
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>> i was going to say more often than not having the pao in the ensures that some information does get out. sometimes when officials are speaking they will go off on a tangent or they just kind of stick to one point but they never asked to get around completely answering the question. so more time do not use a public affairs folks going you forgot to mention this. and don't forget that. those kinds of things. and the other part, tony was talking about, sometimes information is not releasable and that's really critical during crisis situation we don't know how many people are injured come you don't know the cause. most of the time when there's some sort of a crisis, almost the first question that come out from the reporters are less about the incident at hand and more about he was to blame for this. and we don't know that our not going to know that and we're not good to point fingers and we're not going to speculate.
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that's a critical thing, and i think if we keep in mind, what i mentioned before, things that i would like to revise -- advise reporters is don't hide your agenda and don't assume we're hiding something but also don't ask us to speculate. because we're only going to be able to give you facts. >> any of you want to make any additional points? in particular like you to address this question, the point they're making that they can't just allow any government official to talk to anybody at anytime, that there is a need to control for accuracy who talks. do you think that is legitimate? >> i think it is painted with too broad a brush. generally, the government is airing extremely, or, on the side of caution. and so, many government officials who would be just fine
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talking to us, to give us information, and we're not talking necessarily about sensitive subject or a crisis. we're talking about the day in day out working for government. many of them, like i said, it's sort of intake and it does have this effect of shutting the conversation down, shutting the understanding and the information down. because you are too much worried about what if. >> can i add one thing? >> sure. >> in a lot of agencies, and depending on the kind of work they do, that policy is pretty broad. and again it depends on the agency and the kind of work they do, but i know many places where i've worked over the years, the policy was if a reporter approaches you can feel about what it is you're working on and which were doing, you can talk to them about it. within the parameters of your expertise and your job and what
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you know, will but don't talk to them about how this affects larger politics. if you're a road repair guy and you can talk about the repair you're doing on the road. what does this mean to the states road repair budget? don't comment because that's not germane area of expertise. so that's what we tell folks, go ahead and talk to the reporters talk to the reporters but it is offensive i've got to call my pao first, that gets uncomfortable. and so a lot of times, depending on which agency is, what kind of work is going on, the kind of information they're protected, a lot of times they do have the authority to go in and talk to a reporter. you need to let us know right away so that we can track it. the biggest thing is the boss doesn't want to find out something has happened by reading it in the newspaper. >> public affairs officers, if further in here or watching on tv, more than ever before i think is you just have, most of the bad quote unquote bad
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stories i've ever dealt with are usually because there wasn't could communicate in a twin a public affairs officer and a reporter. and the reporter didn't have full, didn't have enough knowledge to write whatever the story is. now, that's not always the case. i've dealt with reporters who know a lot more about some issues than i did. and, so, that force me to have to get a lot smarter on things. but reporters are dealing with really complicated issues, a lot of different, more time pressure to write that you cannot let a reporter right story with, then, based on not great information. you have to really, really work hard with reporters and you need to do it when the news isn't happening. you should overwhelm reporters
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with access and education and, i think, just help them. the very best reporters i've ever dealt with came into my office and said, can you help me understand this. and spent a lot of time just talking and just trying to help understand the not when you're not writing a story. say help me understand this, can i talk to this person and talk to them because they wanted to climb up the learning curve on issue. just have so much respect for reporters who wanted really, really put the time to learn and work hard at it. but as a public affairs officer, you have an obligation to do it. you cannot just point out after the story has been written and say, that reporter didn't know what he was talking about. it's your job to make sure the reporter knows what he's talking about. it's your job to make sure that bad information, meaning like
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incomplete information, is getting out in the public space. and no reporter wants to put that information out. ill-informed information. >> so critical. >> can i just get a show of hands of how many people want to ask a question? so i have an idea. then we should probably get started on that i think. please come up to the microphone, and if you'd state your name and affiliation, that's appreciated but not required. >> i am with the union of concerned scientists, and we often hear from scientists who want to talk to reporters but are too afraid. and some of you have gotten our report, our grading the agency media policies, but for some of me to policies we actually had to do for your request to get a copy of the policy. however, on our website, ucf u.s.a..org is, what have lost
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all those agency media policies. so if you're in a position where maybe you are not talking to a pao as nice as these two gentlemen, you might be able to refer to those agency media policies. i do have one question for the panelists, and probably more the reporters side, do you ever reach out to nonprofits? often those folks, used to be a journalist and then became a nonprofit advocate, you have appointed you but they often know a heck of a lot about agencies i know a lot of people at agenc agencies are people whd to work at agencies who sometimes we can be matchmakers. i wondered if you ever did that? >> i certainly do. and i continue to. let me say at the outset let's try to get our responses brief as with so many people, and i apologize that i haven't left too much time for questions. to any of you want to talk about dealing with nonprofit? >> i think it's one technique.
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you are allowed to talk to people sometimes. we are not, sad to say. .. so the agency i deal with is the food and drug administration. i watch the past five years this agency really shutdown 3-quarters .
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i have a couple questions. they don't allow reporters to have an interview except on rare occasions. how can we make the process work better? that is a quick question. another one is what is it these agencies are doing with slides that they had agency staff show at big public meetings? i have been to three or four big public meetings, slide presentations are shown end the day of the meeting if you are reporters attending you ask them and they tell you we have to clear the slides first. is that censorship? >> that is just stupidity. if you are showing slides in a public space they should be immediately available. it is stupidity. you are trying to get
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information why would you not make it available? >> i was told by the current press officer at my division i should contact her two weeks before the meeting so that she can relate to the staffers giving slide presentation that they have to give it to the public and they can spin it and hold it for a week or two because by then the story is that. i can't write the story without the slide presentation. >> the boy should ministration was apparently more open. >> and there were a lot of leaders, might have been agriculture department or epa but told them they have to shutdown, and all answers must come from the press office. you can no longer have staff talking to reporters and i believe that is what happened
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because everybody i tried to talk to is frightened of me. my boss will fire me. >> that is one of the agencies that book that end -- that i took a look at and they did not ban contact -- >> oh come un. >> in their official policy. that is the point i am making. regardless what it says in the official policy -- >> i can speak for fda, don't know what their practices are but there's absolutely no question they deal with very market sensitive information. if a staffer would indicate to you for example that a drug or medical device is not ready or is going to have no problem
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getting approved. [inaudible] >> so i can write about it in my newsletter. >> we need to move on to the next person. >> my name is joe davis and i have been covering the environment for 34 years. nine with the society of environmental journalists and i have seen this issue develop over a long time. it strikes me that the argument i heard plenty and 30 years ago that we need not press officer they're so nobody gets misquoted is somewhat obsolete in this day of digital recorders. >> to bear witness we should flip our machines on and get about our business. here is the question. during the run up to the second iraq war, the bush ii administration, some portion of it was very frustrated with the efforts of the international arms control people who were trying to inspect what was going on on the ground in iraq and every time they tried to
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interview a nuclear scientist there was a government minder their. our government then was very upset about this and i found a link, i don't have it with me, too a statement by a government spokesman, this is evidence that they are trying to hide something. on the basis of that we went to war, turned out they didn't have a nuclear weapons program to speak of. so the question is if the government was justified in not trusting the iraqi regime because of minders why should the american people not be justified in not trusting the government that can't let its own scientists talk about that? >> that is directed -- >> that is the question.
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>> i am not going to relive all of the press operations. i was at the treasury department at the time, not quite in that debate, but i can't -- i don't know what the practices were, whether scientists can talk about it, i am not going to read them. >> it is a question of trust. maybe the reporters should be drinking together more. >> maybe the best advice i heard. if you are in the d.c. area we have the -- an opportunity where we should be going to this thing and rubbing elbows with each other when there is not a crisis and not a story and everything is off the record so let's go
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have a casual chat and a beer and the piece of pizza and that is where the relationship is going. >> we are privately-owned agency, a lot of different p.o.s. i agree with what you said, e-mail eroding trust and a lot of agencies will not deal with reporters on any basis except e-mail. and the treasury employee, and send her an e-mail. to my question, one frustration i found in covering the government is masking it in the context of what should follow, the political appointees backgrounds or qualifications and this is true for the obama administration and the bush
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administration is a work on the campaign. should that be allowed? >> you want to try to find talent where you can and match it up for those jobs. the public affairs offices actually do work for the people who are elected and answerable to them in the cases where there are political appointees. i was a political appointee. i don't think you can change the whole structure of government the way. i encourage any administration to find the best talent for these jobs because they're critical importance. on the e-mail thing i will tell you a story. i got into a fight with bloomberg when i was at the white house and they started a policy that drives me crazy with flags the only communicate -- it
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is all full but there are times when you are in a meeting and the bloomberg reporter would be e-mail and say ask for response and i am in the middle of a meeting in the roosevelt room and respond and they started publishing e-mail response and i got very angry with them. never afraid to talk to reporters and first of all, a lot of you said in response to an e-mail question which they never would do but then i said look, when you publish it that way it looks like i am afraid to talk to you and so you are noting it was an e-mail thing and it affects my reputation, to talk to you at any point in time but if you want timely response i may have to e-mail you and you shouldn't embarrass me for e-mail in you and they say it is our policy, we have no choice. here is the way it works.
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when the p and reuters e-mail me i will answer them but if you went your reporters to wait until the meeting is over and i can get to my desk and picked up the phone and call you back that is fine. so they changed their policy. so it is worth noting that. >> we have less than two minutes left. i apologize for the people who are not able to ask their questions. >> i came here out of curiosity. i have been here since 1963. i was arrested twice by the utah -- refusing to leave an open meeting and they said they would talk about stuff i didn't want to know about. i have a history of freedom of information and if that is the case and -- i don't think the mainstream media do anything to talk about the treatment of the comedienne and al information
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may be withheld or information being denied so a pox on this half of the house and also as the eye of by the department of interior, i was a member of government communications people way back then. when i was hired imus told we were hiring you from the outside because most government people knew how to say no and you want to market to promote new conservation environmental ethic so i understand your business, as i understand controlling, reporters have to be controlled by a pox on your house because p i os of becoming too politically motivated and espousing a political correct agenda as opposed to disseminating information that should be available publicly. >> thank you very much for that question. and thank you all for being here. actually i find this conversation very heartening because there's a lot of commonality and despite the
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differences i think with a little more professionalism and communication these things can get better. thank you for joining us and we are adjourned. [applause] >> tonight we will talk about gun manufacturing with charles cook on washington journal to discuss his article this evening at 7:10 eastern. booktv in primetime continues with three books recommended by our viewers. at 8:00 bunker hill, a city of revolution. at 8:50, political and military leader written by maria, at 9:50
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gettysburg, the latest invasion. >> one of the things i looked at as i was exploring this was i looked at a lot of county records in which these counties were colleges are. when you look at the colonial county records very often you have the name of the president or the name of the professor and lifted with their taxable property will be an enslaved person or two or three. >> students being displayed, actually displayed to school so if you think about this, if you look at the name of the president, part of his taxable properties and enslaved person and in the case of princeton or harvard you have the president's name did know the college. who owns that? sort of common knowledge of the
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town, the local area, they are inseparable anyway. >> craig steven while they're on the connection between an elite universities and a passed intertwined with slavery sunday night at 9:00 on afterwards, part of booktv on >> guest: -- on c-span2. >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. weeknights call people -- public policy events and the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get schedules at our website and join in the conversation on social media sites. >> we are covering sessions with a conference on drones and privacy issues. here's a look at the morning session. >> some tough times now in the department of defense. as we try to get our arms around the fiscal issues that we have
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so that plays in to every decision we make sell as we go into these new programs we have to be honest with ourselves and as we develop these things they have to be affordable land bring more than additional burdens and costs to us so that is the view i am taking, looking to develop future systems and modernization plans for the army of the future but this is an kerri as i look over my career of 35 years and i remember early in mediation, unmanned systems, no way. got to have the man in it. everyone was scared that at the end of the day everything would become unmanned and do away with jobs and stuff but that is not the case. we know you have to have managed unmanned and it will bring
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better capabilities to our force and that is the future of our army. we have got to incorporate this and it will be a big part of it even in the fiscal environment we know is challenging we know we have got to continue to look at where industry has to help us as we partner to move forward. >> more from the conference on drones and privacy implications in an hour and 15 minutes. attorneys and dronemakers will participate at 1:00 eastern time live on c-span. now from the american institute of architects the discussion on responses to humanitarian crises. the program is an hour and 10 minutes. ♪
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>> first of all i would like to thank mickey jacobs, the entire area, for inviting me to come and speak to you. i mentioned this at an event yesterday, last time i spoke was in a side room and 25 people showed up so this is overwhelming because we have 2500. i would also like to say hello to folks who are tuning in from c-span. this will be aired their. you are probably used to political debates which is kind of like watching paint dry. as architects when we get to the point where the paint is drying, that is the exciting bit. we will divert away from the political conversation. today i will talk about the organization but also something that matters a lot to me, about how architects see things and quite often in an area hit by
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natural disaster, or systemic poverty, people see despair, no hope but when architects go there they see an opportunity to change and resurrect the community to find new ways where we can live as community members and it is this value that can truly transformed a nation and a profession from one that designs buildings which is where we are seen as to when the transforms communities. when we often look at an environment this is just in new jersey. and architect will have a look this is a wetland area, we have to reclaim this area. let's implement natural vegetation and put in transportation and have a beautiful place where people can gather while being protected. this is what architecture brings to an area we often overlook. this value that we need to hold
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true to ourselves of the question i want to ask everybody, from within and without the profession, what is the true value of architecture and i hope i am able to answer that today. what -- back in 1999 -- rosanna is an incredible architect. you was in my office in san francisco and she mentioned she had just been licensed, finished architecture school and casually mentioned i graduated high school at 12 so that made me really feel like the next generation is going to go to the next level but there i was and i feel funny to be in denver where a speech was made by a guy who said i was a skinny kid with the funny name and i was given an
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opportunity. i used to be a skinny kid, i still have a funny name but i came to america with an idea, this dream. i grew up in a poor neighborhood in south london, the kind of areas that not only did they invent a word but practiced on a daily basis, who lived in. as a young child, or six years old, i play with lego and instead of building pirate ships and space ships i would try to reorganize the town to make a place where people would feel good about living there. how could we create places and that drive that set by want to be an architect so i find myself later in the united states working for various terms and that value of what can architecture do to improve people's lives in community stuck with me. we started it, the first competition we did for refugees
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in kosovo and the jury with todd williams, amazing they were recognized and the first person i called, i am a 23-year-old kid, i have this idea, what do you think and he thought i was crazy but sure enough hundreds of architects said it might be a crazy idea but we can make a difference. we were running out of 380 sq. ft. studio in new york, just a couple of volunteers and had this dream that architects could make a difference by in putting their creative and professional services. fast-forward 15 years and offices across the globe, working in 27 countries responding to natural disaster conflict areas and areas of blind poverty. over the course of that time we helped shelter, house and support millions of people and on a local level we have local
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chapters and we seem to be following the convention, a washington d.c. chapter, denver chapter in chicago chapter doing incredible work and a 60 plus city base chapter where 6,800 building professionals are volunteering their time representing the largest architecture firm in the world dedicated to making a difference in their community. is a magnificent body of work by creative individuals. our work has global and national response and i will show much of that but what is really historic is the local response and right here in denver -- and we had a party last night and hosted the open bar part. may be fewer event i but what is amazing about them is they have
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not only designed incredible project for communities in the in denver but funded themselves and in kickstart campaigns. there is one designer who came up with a crazy mustache necklace that you can go in disguise, she rates $3,000 to help people in need, entrepreneurial people, here in denver we have some incredible designers giving back. our headquarters is in san francisco, a gold building where we practice what we preach and on the corner of eighth and minor in san francisco and people see this as the heart of architect for humanity. the heart of architect for a humanity is its people, 81 building professionals, hundreds of firms contributing that are coming to gather as a multidisciplinary team of professionals providing professional design services, this is a very important point.
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this isn't a volunteer. this is taking skills you learned in college, that you honed as a professional and bringing it to communities that never even imagined the idea of an architect or planner or engineer coming to help. to add on that, when you are given the opportunity to work in communities you have an obligation to build. what makes architecture really incredible is we don't just design solutions, we build them. when you build a solution is transforming lives of our commitment to these communities for allowing us to work with you is to create this change through the built-in environment. we also have to think about the future in the present, two projects we did a couple years ago, one was a 60 foot catamaran made of 16,000 plastic bottles like the polk and pepsi bottles. the reason we did that was to raise awareness of the plastic in the pacific ocean but the
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idea is can we invent new materials out of waste products of strong materials we can use as a positive, let's create consumptive waste we are producing and use it as a strong sound material. that building research is a part of the organization. on the other end of the world's we are working in pakistan, one of the most dangerous areas in pakistan after flooding displaced three million people. this is the power of the network. i got a phone call from the clinton foundation housing us -- thanking us for the house and work in pakistan and supporting our efforts. first, what? we don't have any -- and of course to be a great leader you have to bluff your way and say absolutely, it has been an honor to help you and the first thing after putting the phone down is say what is going on? in the first few weeks they had not only help clear out hundreds
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of homes but worked with a number of groups to build eastbound bamboo construction in these homes are half the cost of the un tent so what was remarkable law about that is you got ground to build three contemporary villages and through the innovative construction technology developed by the first female licensed architect of pakistan, incredible individual, they helped build three villages. part of that is about sustainability. when we talk about sustainability is not just about material energy. it is about social and economic sustainability but while we do that we need to protect the cultural heritage. we can't go into a community and say we will give you a titanium building and is the best for you. we have to understand the culture as an element of sustainability and by ignoring that heritage we are actually discrediting the desires and needs of the community.
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so we embed our architects. think about architects as phd diver. they're incredibly smart but can blowtorch like nobody's business. mid career professionals, young commercials, dedicated their lives, you see eric who ran at haiti office. i love this photo because this is actually is carry on luggage for american airlines and he didn't get find. anybody who can do that will get hired by me. that entrepreneurial spirit. these are burmese architect working using cellphone communication after the typhoon, or an architect from hawaii who decided not only to dedicated number of years of her life to rebuilding in india but brought her entire family and not only made a professional police but a personal commitment for her family to move over there.
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durand her family are in mongolia building incredible work way beyond architect humanity. part of the thing and i hearken back to rosanna was that there rules studio, and samuel said once you get snake bit you can't go back and when you start doing public service architecture it is hard to say i am done with that building, you understand that power. we ponder with local professionals, we are not going into a community discrediting local architect engineers. we partner with them and make sure there is an architect of record on every project and go through the process because in the humanitarian world we are the benchmark. people look to was to say how do we build? there are some architects year. one of the standards that we said so we are not just saying the most number of people to help impact numbers. what we say is how can we create the most relevant and effective
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structures that can be replicated throughout this area. that is part of the engagement process. we are not designing equities communities but designing with them. one of the greatest, and i got was from one of our clients in new orleans who said architect of like the wind beneath my wings. they allow me to score. that is the power of architecture, to work hand-in-hand with someone and take their dreams and realize it. the other part of it is we create jobs. we are a massive job creator. when you think that we are not just going in and repairing an area, we are generating an economic force and the great thing about being an architect is you work locally. we are not shipping in fema trailers and structures that were built overseas but working directly with the community. integrating crops, the beauty of crops, it is amazing the
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marriage between ethics and esthetics. when you build a beautiful building people love it and the most sustainable building in the world is the one that is loved. that is what we do best. doesn't matter how many points you have got or how much real will energy you put on the bill unless somebody loves the building they won't take care of it so it is our responsibility to make sure we have the most beautiful, gorgeous structure that will be loved by the community. ..
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>> it worked well, and we could do it here too. finally, this is what makes is great is by having the community involved they are so engaged, so empowered that you can transfer that ownership to local community leaders, and this is who led recovery efforts, and what he did was great. we didn't come in to rebuild your community, but rebuild with your community. that is now an economic development center. this is us in a nutshell; right? this is what people ask, what do architects do, this is us. the reality is that it's value. i'm going to go through a whole
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bunch of projects quickly to talk about value. what value do we bring? it talk about the value of safety. anybody who lived in a tough neighborhood understands what safety brings, what security brings. here we are in the roughest neighborhood in south africa with the highest incidents of murder, rape, violent crimes. working with a group, rather than saying, hey, we want to do a do-good project, put it by the highway so when a celebrity comes in, they cut the ribbon and go, they look at a tactical approach of planning, seeing the most violent areas, and that's where we go, urban acupuncture, put in a building to transform a community, and we ended up in a park that had the highest -- basically a park where women were raped, murdered, and dumped for decades, and it was across the street from the school.
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that, my friends, is one. most dangerous places to be. we said that is where we are putting this up and where we will make change. working with architects, our designers from south africa, worked with the community to develop health, education, and sports facility using sports as the mechanism for change, funded by the -- after the world cup, to create a magnificent building. the sustainability that was economic, environmental, and culture creating jobs, that the building was off grid, and that we involved local artists to be a part in creating the building. 18,000 children have gone through the program, and 2 # 00% increase in perceived safety. when somebody says, you know what? 16th street in denver is a safe area, they bring their kids. safety is as important as safety
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because when families arrive, it becomes safe. what that did was a massive decrease in both murders and violence assaultings in that area. using statistics, using basic data to show architecture and design have an incredible difference to create safe, strong people for people to live. on the other side of africa, we worked in rwanda with a group bringing together who has children who were born after this, and it was tragic. imagine being born after that knowing that's what happened, that 800,000 people were killed in a month. this is an incredible center bringing together groups, two games, which i really love, the one which is this no referees, and 250 kids agree on the rules, and if there's foul, they work together to settle conflict resolution. the other game is a gender
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equality game, only the goals for women, which you have to pass to the woman before you score. incredible, incredible program. no one in architecture says we borrow ideas, but we kind of borrow ideas. there's the idea that the hospital did, a massive window here that reflects the window they did there. it's a tip to the hat to another great design impact firm. we found 20 # of these across the continue innocent in two years helping over a quarter of a million children create incredible impacts whether it's health, education, or conflict resolution, it's just one program. we had a skate park in afghanistan where children started skate boarding, and wherever they were skate boarding, neither the u.s. or taliban were fighting, and they realized that block by block they can create peace by skating
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the streets, and it started with six kids, 60 kids, and 600 by the end of the year, and the kids are amazing. at the end of the projects, 50% of the people were there to get the extra education, not to skate board. it's really interesting that kids know when they get access to things like this, they take advantage of it. okay. got no time for this. i'll go -- thanks, heather. i have this clock here. i did this talk two years ago, and it's like an ominous clock. they do the slides for me. [laughter] so, you know, it's funny, i did a talk years ago in chicago, and this, like, elderly lady came up to me to give a donation and said, i love what you do, you're like buck minister fuller. i was, like, really, he's
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amazing. she says, no, you just kept talking and talking and talking and wouldn't shut up. [laughter] i was like, okay, i get the point. education is vital. education is vital around the globe. we have over 70 million children who don't have access, and after a disaster, it's tragic. if you don't have anderson cooper showing up, you know, with a tight t-shirt, chances are you are not going to get the response you need. areas in peru, three years after, the schools are like this, and they are able to bring an architect and there's a safe haven for them to learn dwen, and this went on and on and on throughout peru building these beautiful schools. our budgets a slender and timelines tight. we run the organization like a firm. you can understand it's
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incredibly stressful, but the work that comes out is magnificent. hang on. i have to do one thing, sorry. if anyone from chicago here? okay. so my dad, for years, didn't oches what i did for a living, and he kept, like, meeting architects in chicago saying my son can't find work, and he's doing this, like, do-gooder stuff, so if you know of firms, i'll pass it on. this goes to my dad to let him know that, like, i don't need a job in chicago. [applause] thanksgiving's going to be fun this year. [laughter] this is an incredible project near shanghai. 10% of china's labor is migrant, they move place to place, and
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these are migrant construction workers, both men and women work on large buildings in shanghai and beijing. they have well-known architectture behind them. in the labor camps, there's no school for kids. we work for compassion for migrant children, we build quick, simple classrooms that move with the children so the idea that education goes with them instead of this constant turnover and turnover. incredible fast projects, incredibly successful. in kenya, we have vocational training working with the foundations to figure out ways where rural kids find work locally so they are not running to the slums of nairobi and seeing the streets are not paveed with gold. again, looking at rural and agricultural based economies. in kenya again we realize that the cost of a water well, you could build a full size basketball court and collect enough rain water to not only provide clean drinking water for
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1200 kids for the kitchen, but access water that you can give to the community. this building was built by greg. i was doing the commencement speech at north dakota state, and i said, does anybody want a job in kenya? it was, like, this guy's burly, and he, like, ran, like literally ran in the theater to tackle the friends out of the way to give me the resumé. months later, he's in kenya building magnificent buildings. what's incredible about this is now the place is not just a place where kids gather to do sports and theater, but it's where people get married. it's, like, the cultural center. here in the united states. i know i'm supposed to wear a jacket, sorry, mom. i'm on c-span, i thought i should put a jacket on. the other thing we do is invest in green schools and sustain the here in the united states. you know, i traveled the world
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in looking at educational facilities, but the most shocking places are on the reservation. the most shocking places are in inner city america. we're the richest country in the world, and we can't provide adequate classrooms for the children. it's shameful. we need to be looking -- [applause] it's not about pro bono architecture or for-profit architects, but dignified. we'll give you the best opportunity possible so that you can be competitive. why with re27th in the world in math and science? why are people not understanding what the resiliency of climate change? let's give them spaces that can empower and inspire them. that's something we're doing both funding universities around the united states. we did this thing called gorilla green, like march madsness, the stainability where we gave money to high school students to hack their school greens. it was amazing. hundreds of kids took over their
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schools and greened the schools just on hopes of winning the $10,000 prize, creating mass change, a simple program and souper inspiring. the value of resilient places. i have 25 minutes. i'm going to go quicker, if that's okay. we're looking at disasters again, the anderson cooper moment, runs in, tight t-shirt, says look what happened, and people rush in. it's not about being the first responder, but being the last responder, or the first person who puts the hand out to help, but one who shakes the hand of the community when it's built. that's where architects shine. we're not there for the glory. we're not there for the photos. we're there to make sure that community is transformed, and so when we look at reconstruction, there's a rule of thought. you have four days to respond to announce you're going to help. you have to put a plan out there that's tangle, that's --
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tangible, that's real, and you have four weeks, believe it or not, funding is raised in the first four weeks of the disaster. you have four weeks to raise all funding for the next four years, four months to mole idaho your team, get on the ground, work with local leaders, work with the local aia and have a design studio that's ready to support that community. when you are working with that community, you say, we're committed, not leaving, we're not leaving until you are housed, not leaving until the school's open, not leaving until the community center is full. that's the commitment to you, a true commitment of architecture is we don't show up and say hi, we stay, we make sure it's done. [applause] why architecture? why architects? well, natural disasters don't kill people, buildings do. poorly built buildings kill.
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in the case of haiti, it killed hundreds of thousands of people. for me, it's quite personal. i had been to haiti before the quake, there to look at the rebuilding efforts after the flooding, and a reporter came to me and asked, what do i think of the housing stock, not knowing the dangers of the island, i said this is a recipe for disaster. this -- if this place gets hilt, everyone's over. months later, tragic earthquake hit haiti. the other picture that was taken was the day i arrived in haiti after the quake. this is a picture of me leaving the amputee hospital, and the people at the gates, the parents of the children who just lost a limb because of bad buildings, what's worse than not responding is knowing you could have. , so we made a commitment not to
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invest in building buildings, but invest in professional service bringing in architects, engineers, planners, find the local professionals, partner them up, and invest in putting together a rebuilding center that would compete and compare with anything done by international aid or large ngos. it was a recipe for success. this is architecture, this is probably the largest number of architects on the island of haiti. we currently still have the largest number of architects working under one roof, and those of you under 30 #, we use this analog system. it's simple, like an ipad, slightly like a mechanism that you use, and what the beauty of that is is we can very clearly talk to our communities and say, no, you're not getting a house
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next week. we have to do foundations, planning, they can see the stages of reconstruction and understand where they are, but, also, they see their friends. they say, oh, my neighbors are here p -- oh, you are helping them. it's an ecosystem of support we are providing. the most magical moment for architects and designers is when they finish the project, they get to do that swipe. they wipe the name off saying, we're done. that's a really incredible moment. not only looking at construction, but looking at doing construction training, you know, every contractor that worked on the building that collapsed are still working there. there's no building codes. we said, okay, part of the responsibility is to ensure good training that we have strong buildings, and we are going to utilize the funds that we've got for housing and for schools to train up haiti's construction professionals with skilled jobs. we're also going to look at
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making sure that haitian architects and engineers have access to international jobs because what was happening is, you know, an international funder comes in, says, where are the cad drawings? an architect working there for 30 years was not using cad, but doing beautiful construction drawings, but didn't know cad. we partnered with order desk, set up a cad deem lab and trained anyone who wanted it to have access to the tools needed to get the work, make sure there was a tender process, took everybody through what we call professional building services. of course, when you ask communities what they want, number one is shelter, number two is jobs. a quick video about making jobs. ♪
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[speaking in native tongue] ♪ ♪ >> it was not just an earthquake
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aspect of why it was total chaos, but just the building side, the construction side that people have overseen and think, you know, it's okay to keep this the same to make a couple bucks. we are so driven to create jobs and teaching the locals how to do it right. ♪ [speaking in native toping] ♪
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>> most amazing thing about rudy, the last person there, he dropped out of school and is building the school he dropped out of. it's not just the education of the architects that's changing. it's the education of the entire building ecosystem. we're not -- we shouldn't see ourselves as divisions within the building profession. we should see ourselves as partners. some projects we'll lead; some projects we won't, but were brothers and sisters who are engineers, planners, construction professionals, they make you look damn good so work alongside them to make sure it happens, and here, what surprises you is 50% of the funding for haiti came from high school children. across the united states, 19 other countries, children donated $5, $10, to help us rebuild, and funders are our investors.
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through students rebuild, we asked them, what would you like us to build? they said, well, build schools for kids our age. we focused on a school building program that's been magnificent. when you look at the schools, they may seem very rudimentary schools. this one, the river rock and the reed comes from less than five kilometers from the site. i think that's led titanium; right? what it shows a community is that they didn't have to import materials from overseas that would be three times the cost. they could work with the materials around them to create a dignified and beautiful structure for their children. the other thing to note, it's not just earthquake that killed people. with the way things were built, and this was one of the schools that we saw that was partially destroyed, the thing i want you to lock at is the ceiling. that's the construction. children had no time to escape
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from the classrooms. when the earthquake struck, those blocks fell, and so we had to go back in there and say, i don't care this building withstood the earthquake. this is a death trap, and we're not willing to allow future children to die because we overlooked an issue. we need to be preemptive. our role as a profession, if we see something that harms others, we have an opportunity to make sure it never happens. working with that community, this is what happened. the most beautiful school in haiti, colors developed by the kids. we had local artists do the steel doors instead of flying in steel doors from the u.s., we worked with local artists to manufacture beautiful artworks so kids can say, this is haiti. i'm proud of haiti, proud of the artists and schools and find the pride in a rebuilt country. historic reservation, prereceiverring the first all-girl school in haiti right now, and a great project,
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marriage between new technology and historic renewal. housing, working with habitat for humanityings we built over 500 home, beautiful, small structures that look at the urban agricultural based economies, ensuring there's economic lifelines, schools, health clinics, expand that in port a prince for 2,000 homes, under construction, architects not looking at just strong homes for families, but ensuring there's storm water management and infrastructure in there. beautiful parks, open streets. you see this, this is a simple, you know, $15,000 project. what you don't know is when you work in the slums, it's absolutely packed. you cannot get real estate, and one of the chores and jobs to do is make sure we have storm water runoff systems and sewerrer systems to prevent cholera. how do you prevent cholera through architecture?
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when you put a seal down, people give real estate for that. the kids got a place to play. this is not a basketball court or soccer court, but a storm water runoff system running under the sports utility. how to use sports is an mechanism to access real estate to ensure healthy lifestyles to the families that live there. working with the community to do an entire urban planning strategy, doing pocket parks and small areas with solar poweredded lighting to make sure that we would prevent violence against women and children and safe spaces for people to gather. construction training, as i mentioned, not just focusing on schools and housing, but the lifeline of community as an economic stress, making sure that we were looking at the mom and pop businesses, so that people have jobs and rethinking about the way downtown port-au-prince did its commerce. 80% of entrepreneurs, and to
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ignore the economic lifeline of the country is to let it die. we didn't see that outside our mandate. this is my building era. you want to talk about building leadership, look at man, haitian architect, who decided to give up his firm in new york, go back to the country that he called his home, and to dedicate his life to ensure there was not only strong buildings, but a strong architectural engineering construction practice so this never happens again. true leaders happen within the silent, quiet, strong determined architects in our profession, and we shouldn't overlook that we have a number of quiet heros who made us look incredibly good for what we do. i have 11 minutes. we're going to go tho japan really quickly. what we learned from haiti was it's not just about how we
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build. it's how we leave. implementing an exit strategy, like, come into your community, figure out help and support we need, figure out a way so we don't stay so that exit strategy aid was part of the thinking as we worked in japan. what's amazing about the north is most people thought of the tsunami hitting kind of, you know, people who lived in tokyo, hit, cool, moon walking, anime designers. the only way to describe this is, like, angry new englanders. they are blue collar fishermen, hate big business, hate ngos and people telling them what to do, and they are incredible resilient. the polite version of the sign says "screw you, tsunami, we're coming back." that was all over. we couldn't hand out services. we had to partner as a social interenterprise, as a no-fee construction company to give access to sports, education, and
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welfare as well as economic development. again, children came out at incredible rates. there was a donor that said, you know, i'm going to donate a dollar for every paper crane a kid makes and sends to us. i want to raise money for architects for humanity. we put that on twitter and facebook, and we said, you know, raise a hundred thousand in a month, collect a hundred thousand paper cranes and use that as a sculpture as part of the rebuilding efforts. what do you think happened? four million cranes showed up. fortunately, the donor put her address for sending the cranes, and not the headquarters. she's close with ups. literally millions of kids said we want to help. they came from all walks of life. bangladesh, children from bangladesh raised over $10,000,
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and children from haiti whose school was destroyed raise the thousands because they said this is one small act i can do. in is a 40 foot by 40 foot sculpture made by munez with just a hundred thousand cranes. imagine the storage issue. what we were able to do with that is actually take a number of those cranes, take them to japan, create murals, work with the kids, and all the schools we worked on to hand them out. this direct relationship between donor and recipient, so the kids who wrote messages on the paper cranes are actually communicating with the kids who are now getting schooling. we started small. urban acupuncture as a way to get into the communities. when we talked to residents in japan and other villages, they didn't. a house. they were too busy worries about who they'd lost, where the home was, you know, in a state of shock. the number one thing they wanted was a hot bowl of noodles.
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they didn't want the prepackaged stuff begin to them in the shelters. we took a bunch of trucks, turned into mobile ramen noodle shops, went around and delivered hot noodles. that was the community center. we began to fine out all communities affected, and this one right here was completely devastated, and by serving hot noodles, we understood the need. from that, we realized that a community center does not say the word "community center" on it, but where people gather. using debris from the tsunami and construction hiring contractors from fukushima who didn't have the work who uses traditional construction techniques to create a community marketplace where sushi, saki, and beer was served, the most popular center in that village. i learned having, you know, liquid support in your community centers helps, so another group of fishermen said, we got no work, lost our boats, what do we
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do? one guy was lamenting to his daughter, saying we're sitting on our butts doing nothing. they had an idea of using our net making techniques to make hammocks out of, like, all the leftover debris we can find so they started a microbusiness to start a hammock factory. .. when the studio got destroyed, 30% of the kids perished.
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when the instructor asked the kids, we should just pack it up. they said we want to go back, we need somewhere to play. sure enough we open up the studio. one of my favorite projects is a soccer facility. the soccer coach, this one school happened to be an asparagus farmer. because of the fallout from fukushima he did want to grow any more asparagus. he was worried about future residents and the effects of the nuclear fallout. we tested the land but it was completely fine but he had donated the asparagus field to us. using telephone calls had come down we're able to do structural support. we hired the fishman to do the netting and then with some found would and stones were able to do the seating area. what was nice about this is i adopted this theme. i decided, i found out from the kids their uniforms have been
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handed down from generation to generation, father to son, mother to daughter. and given this was an asparagus field we worked with our founder, nike, to produce a kit. so we begin to realize it wasn't about providing structures but it was providing a system where architects and, indeed, this could best help the community to recover. working with prudential we opened the business of economic recovery center that brings in ideas from the community, puts them with architects and engineers, polls and business advisor support, gives them access to the private capital and funding that we provide. and actually builds new business and jumpstart an economy that has been lagging. these are our clients. they come from all walks of life. in the next figures they will be doing incredible work. i also want to announce, these are some the projects that we built. marketplace in childcare, a women's cooperative, and my
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favorite client, i'm going to run overcome is that okay? mickey, i'm sorry. so mickey was like you've got to keegive him time. they've got to get their learning credits. they've got a goal and i was like i'm just going to put up pictures of devastated communities. i want to see them walk out. [laughter] i'm kidding, i'm kidding. i'm good, okay. you don't mind making going short. [laughter] or i could just announce all -- no, i will. so my favorite client, i love this guy. he is in the '60s. he is like a myth, and ending the. this is -- this guy is the worst fishermen. the worst. i talk to everyone and designees terrible. he has been working there for 20. is a great freshman but he knows where the fish is but it is now
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to tie not. there's want to thank need to know as the fishman, get the fish and tie knots. what happened is every time you come back and he put his boat and poor, tied up, go and have a few beers and the channel would be like, your vote is in the middle of the port. could you just tied up properly? 20 years there telling him, learn how to tie your boat up. well, march 11, he came back, tied his boat up, went home for the day. a wave of 90 feet high, 200 miles an hour slammed in wiping out 90% of the town. every part of the port, every vote destroyed. many of you probably saw the footage on television. he gets a phone call three days later from japan railways, do you have a boat?
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yes. we found a vote for kilometers inland resting on a train tracks and we can't get the trains operation because it's resting there. without a scratch. his boat had been lifted, moved, carefully dropped on the train tracks. that's his boat. he is now head of the fishing cooperative. [laughter] his first act was he was looking for fishermen, because he needed to restock his boat. on his resume he was looking for was a not tire. very humble, he invited his 15 closest friends have been out there and said, let's start a small business. we know we'll do reconstruction of no one have to get back and get fishing but we have an opportunity or actually feed all these people go come and rebuild. so working with him we developed the kind of oyster, seaweed bar
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rest day so they could sort out the fish and at the end of the day they could sell their oysters and have a beer and talk. beautiful, beautiful project. the first village we met, remember the one that was destroyed with the ramen noodle shop? working with japanese firms can and does it mention at the start of my speech, every project we built has a license professional architecture who partners with us. we are not about taking work. we're about expanding. with this firm that came in from japan they came up with this incredible, beautiful system for building very quickly can think of like an overcome house that could come together and just a symbol. again, you can see all the inside how beautiful this structure is. we're looking at a budget that is tens of thousands of dollars. you can realize the good architecture doesn't cost. good architecture is about
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tearing. that's the difference. somewhat to announce our latest project. it's with a young emerging architects. we were incredibly unfortunate. we did a project look for architects would like to help us rebuild facilities and usage as. one of the applicants was toyo ito and associates. as part of his group come he's done incredible work. working one on one with families, really thinking about the rebuilding, you know. he should be dedicated not just to his body of work, but the fact when disaster struck his country, he said we need to work together. we need to bring community together. we need of architects. we need a conversation in rebuilding our community. it's an incredible on a to b. partner with them on our latest
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project. new york to an over by one minute? we will do this in a couple of seconds. sandy. new york was our home. that's where we were born. like sure, i was actually born in london. but i was made in new york. the man i am today was made in new york but everything i believe in, everything that i love about design, everything that i think about what i talk about responding to communities happened in new york city. so when sandy was coming, those of us out in the resiliency and reconstruction world knew exactly what was going to happ happen. and it was horrific. it could've been much, much worse, but certainly the most high-risk areas are usually those that are the most in need. many of you have seen that yes downtown new york lost power. lysis like the rockaways in
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staten island lost their lifeline. so it's up to us, as architects, engineers and building professionals to say you know what, we're not going to let this happen again. we're going to build a strong city. you've already met our regional program manager, rachel. shows up here just earlier getting the topaz metal. we're and currently fortunate to have just amazing stuff. this year we have three in emerging professionals. so one yesterday, that worked with either our chapters or our organization. and their dedicated to sing how architecture can make a difference. they have at the high point plan. we have no time for. we're helping, that's the short answer. [laughter] for the you can see those of you were not in new york and saw the devastation, it's pretty rough. it's not time what you saw in the coffee shops in wall street.
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this is breezy point. this is the rockaways, seaside heights. this is a building disaster. this is where we can really respond. so we are doing a of things. we are going to be announcing very soon that we will be preparing and building three sports facilities for new york city schools. it's been a concept design on with the schools. we will be looking for a couple more firms if you're interested. we are working at seaside heights but one of the most bizarre fundraising events i ever did was myself and snooki on mtv. it was bizarre, i'm not going to go into it. we are focused on to a number of committee projects at seaside heights, to look at ways to rebuild it out for the economic lifeline. at chapter commute city, working with a number of residents here at the volunteer firehouse. not only is an important
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building for securing -- security and safety. this will go in 1906 and should be preserved historically. one of my favorite projects that we're yet to fund is bernie. bernie owns the harbor light restaurant. burning was a new york policeman, fireman, and lifeguard. had two sons that are firefighters. he had one son who was in cantor fitzgerald. he lost that son on 9/11. a few months later a plane crashed a block away from his restaurant. when sandy came, it devastated what was the heart of that committee. a harbor light restaurant was basically where, it was basically the cheers of the rockaways. it was where everyone could hang their hat and talk. and bernie is incredibly residing in helping rebuild by himself. i met him just taking up blocks outside his restaurant saying
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i'm going to build this back. and certainly this is one of many, many structures we would like to get back on its feet in new york. so it's not just international disasters. we worked with about 12 a special reconstruction programs but we're finding ourselves more and more working in the united states, here in oklahoma you saw the terrible tornadoes that hit that down. working locally, the region and the local aia have done an incredible job working with the town, figure out ways to build a resilient community. but it got us thinking. the way that we fund and we operate is very pinpointed. maybe we should stop thinking about disasters in one town or one neighborhood, and rather than waiting for the town to be destroyed, maybe we need to think about resiliency. maybe we need to launch a just disaster resiliency fund. we've already made great steps with that compose with the aia, we do never a disaster
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resiliency grants across the country. we're working with the clinton global initiative on a number of programs looking at resilience year. if we call ourselves the strongest, safest country in the world, we should prove it. we should prove it with safe places. we should prove it with resilient places. i came to this country for those reasons. because they afforded me the freedom and liberty to do what i believe and. and we have an opportunity to make sure that we do that. so we need to think about disasters not as i reacted thing. when people say, well, what do we do in the area of seattle or vancouver or san francisco or l.a., you say we need a team of architects and planners and engineers back and think smartly about building resiliency. but we so need to go forward. i'm just going to go, these are more projects. i'm just going to show, is on in
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the last few years. national building on the reservations. adobe housing for women in mexico when many of them moved up north. our villages popular by women with no jobs, keeping a construction jobs for women to rebuild their communities. and the united states right here in chicago, we have food deserts are some of the richest cities in the world don't have access to fresh vegetables. and catherine, another emerging professional, and the afa chicago came up with this idea of mobile grocery stores that were driver and deliver fresh vegetables into those food deserts. they worked with fresh foods and this fresh moves, the organization behind us. basically have been sold at every single day since they have opened these buses. now cities like new york, l.a.,
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san francisco, seattle have seen this program and say wow, we can instabilities brick and mortar groceries, we could actually utilize our transportation network to make sure that we get fresh and clean and healthy vegetables to those communities that are without it. in bangladesh, building very quick schools and communities out of natural buildings. in portugal, taking basically all the commission military sites, transforming them into ocean and coastline conservation centers. in mozambique, the architects decided that rather than using kind of modern construction techniques, they would actually do stabilized soil blocks that would create jobs. so you see it's not just a magnificent building in mozambique, but 50 new business owners that can actually go out there and use the system to create buildings. what i love most about this is, the arches and when the ways, they ended up using -- the
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building smells beautiful, which i think is the coolest design feature of this building to walking and liked wow, that smells nice. i will spend a little time on this because you want to talk about disasters, let's talk about health. >> make a time machine. >> i would make medicine for the sick. >> i would probably invent something new. >> if a i could have another five years to live -- >> that's a long time. >> i would bring my uncle back because i miss them very much. >> i would get more hamsters.
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>> i would probably want to look for dark matter. >> i would go looking for aliens. >> if i can live an extra five years, i was thinking about making like a helicopter, like a wooden helicopter. but i don't have any would. >> i would probably teach my sister spent i would try to invent a machine that lets you learn at light speed. >> if i had five more extra used to live -- >> i would be the boss. >> i think i would do anything. >> why are you asking me that? ♪
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♪ >> so it turns out we have built cities, towns, that create inactivity. and that we have a health care crisis in this country where children under 10 will not five years younger than their parents. i have a six-year-old daughter. now, it turns out that yes, what you put in your body can but it also turns out it's the places that you lived. and the idea of having an active lifestyle. 70 organizations came together to look at the idea of how do we tackle obesity through solutions, not problems. that's not classified obesity as a disease. let's not single people out. let's figure out how to transform the communities that we live in to greet the most active citizens that we have. and so what we've been doing over the last years is digging out pilot cities across the united states to implement an
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urban acupuncture strategy that will allow and activate americans. we have seven out of 10 americans are currently obese or overweight. we spend twice as much on health care costs than we do on education. this is a cycle that is not going to get better unless we act now. so when we think about disasters, let's not just think about the fast with. let's not think about the visual ones. we've got to think about the ones that are coming. and health care as you know is a huge one. and one of the asks again out of this, the second asked was how to great active spaces? is this not a design problem? is this not work for you, the next decade how we can transform the cities and towns? we've shown over the last decade through our chapters that we can do this that can create these active spaces where their urban
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spaces or natural spaces, or neglected spaces that, that you can look out five key areas, open spaces, urban design and land use, transportation, schools and the workplace. in these five areas, these are key areas where we can make massive strides in creating massive communities and stitching them together with these spaces. so rather than seeing a city as a destination and let's see it as a community of us to get ways we can build and transform these cities. this isn't again, this is not about doing to their kids about doing right. -- doing good, it's about doing right. i'm going to end my question now, ask the question can, what is the fight of architecture. less than 3% of the world uses the services of an architect. the pro bono work that architecture for humanity design corp., mass design, public
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architecture do, we are the bottom 25%. now, of that 3%, the public only know a dozen course architects. that's .0001%. who are actively known. the value of architecture is out ability to translate the solution-based approach we have. right now 71% of the world are in dire need of decent design. good, well thought, meaningful buildings. guests who can do it? all of you. there shouldn't be a single architect out of work in the united states if we can tap the 71% people are looking to dignified shelter and strong communities. in the recession, they polled over 150 jobs. it turns out that architecture was dead last when they came to the number of people who were laid off. we have the highest percentage, 700% layoff compared with other
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professions. we are actually below financial analysts. you know the guy who got us involved in the whole crisis to begin with, like when the guys are kind of rated people stanchions are regarded higher than architecture, we have a value proposition problem. we need to position ourselves and say, if you want to solve some of these big issues, we are the profession that can do it. but we have to look at a different way. wherwent to look at the value of collective change. yes, we are all individual firms. yes, we're large firms, small firms. but collectively, if it's not natural its build, and if it is built it is done by an architect. so collectively we can make these changes together. we have a look at the value of tangible impacts. don't talk to me to about design strategies. don't talk to design communities about ideas. talk to them about impact to
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talk to them about how we have made a difference. change the conversation from what we can deliver to what we're going to build. look at sustained growth. this is 20 years. women look at collectively, yes where build a building or a school or at home. but collectively we are transforming the natural environment through our work. so we need to look at a broader scale of the impact that we're making. we have to look at the valley of honor in our own. where to look at the facts that when she goes to an entire career and get made an incredible impact on communities, and we look back and we honor that impact, we do it with equity, with honor, and we do it because we are proud of what some of our greatest architects have achieved. [applause] >> finally, the valley of how we respond, not why, hands up, i
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want to see a show of hands of people who care about others. right, so don't have to explain to people that architects care. what i have to explain is architects have the solution. so we are talking about the value we bring them we should talk about the solutions that we make. of course, i can't end without a pitch. you've got to support our value. it turns out that less than 2% of our funding comes from the architecture profession. but 80% of our funds going to implement an architecture. i would really love it if i can hit that 3% ratio. so today, it turns, my cofounder, who is an incredible person, pensions from the or position, is keynoting something called well on design in l.a. and both of us at the same time are announcing a challenge to the conventions, that i think
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that the architects can raise more funds to get architects to make a difference than l.a. designers and home furnishing people. so go up to our booth. we are at 1226, go online, we figured out it cost $100 to have a licensed professional spent an entire day working with communities you can donate a day of design, you can follow in the footsteps of other great architects. there's a calendar there. by the end of the conference tomorrow i want to see every single day bought by her birthday, by your spouse's birthday. if you forgot his or her anniversary of president you can set i bought you a day of design. maybe that will go out -- down well. become a committee build and help us transform more communities. thank you so much for your
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support, and i'm looking forward to designing. [applause] ♪ >> on c-span2 will do about history of can manufacture with charles cook who joined us on "washington journal" to discuss his article that ran in remington u.s.a. you can see that tonight at 7 p.m. p.m. eastern. >> this is a challenging time to be in washington. the economic recovery is still
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very slow at its particularly slow here in rhode island, and we are trying to do things to get the economy moving more quickly, but we're trying to do so any time when there is enormous conflict and dissension in washington. and the one thing i want to tell you about that, it is my job to report back to him what i see and what's going on around me is that what i see is not actually a lot of conflict between republicans and democrats. wide i see is an immense conflict, bitter conflict within the republican party. you have a tea party contingent that has one set of views. you've got more moderate republican who have a very different set of views come and they are really almost at each other's throats now. you have flat out conflict on the floor of the senate between
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republicans. you have fights within the caucus among republicans. you have one group raising money against the other group, and it's really very, very contentious. we are kind of bystanders to that fight, but we have experienced the effects of it because when one party is that divided and there's that much anger and conflict, it's very hard for them to help with getting legislation passed. >> you can see senator whitehouse's town hall meeting any time at c-span.org. during this congressional recess we're covering a number of town hall meetings. including meetings held by senators john mccain, tom coburn and mitch mcconnell. we will announce the scheduling of those events as they become available. the top commander in afghanistan general dunford says the afghan
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forces will be ready to take over at the end of 2014. general dunford said some operations like preparing an afghan air force could take until 2018 to complete the general dunford spoke by video conference to reserve officers association last week. >> pretty me, thanks for the introduction and invitation to address the national security symposium. .. >> responsible for base
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operating support for the cluster. we've got an mp unit out of detroit, michigan, that is providing force protection. there's a large number of individual augments and smaller reserve units. you'll be happy to know that my standards questions today after i get done with business were are you a member of the reserve officers' association, and have you paid your dues? [laughter] most would look at me a bit curious, and when i get done i said, well, i'm going to be speaking to the reserve officers' association, and for effect, i pulled out my notebook, and i said i'm taking names. [laughter] so for the next few days, your membership committee is busier than usual, i'm going to take a little bit of credit for that. [applause] but, frankly, beyond letting you know that your reservists and guardsmen should be making you proud, there's a more important reason that i'm glad to speak about afghanistan, such an influential and engaged group of leaders. i've got a great deal of optimism about where we are in
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the campaign right now. there are challenges, to be sure, and i'll address those. but we have a very real opportunity to be successful. i'm mindful that not everybody shares my optimism. i'm sure most of you saw the recent poll that said 67% of americans believe the war in afghanistan has not been worth fighting. in 43% of americans believe that all u.s. forces should come home next year. as you can imagine, that sentiment concerns me a great deal. we still have over 60,000 young men and women in uniform in harm's way, and the american people need to understand why they're here, what they're doing and what they're trying to accomplish. and they need to make an assessment of our prospects of success based on the facts. the young men and women here need to understand that what they are doing is important. and that they have the support of the american people. the strength of our force for over a decade has been the spirit, the will and the discipline of our soldiers,
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sailors, airmen and marines. and those qualities have come from a sense of purpose, a belief in what they were doing and also the tremendous support that we have had from the american people. and i wouldn't want to lose that. and i hope after i share just a few thoughts with you, you can help me inform the very important dialogue that should be taking place about our mission here in afghanistan. after more than a decade of war, significant investment of u.s. resources and the loss of 2,121 -- 24 u.s. servicemen and women, americans are understandably tired of war. but when assessing the war's worth and our continued involvement, we must remember why we deployed the u.s. forces to afghanistan in the first place. no one can forget the horrific attacks of 9/11 which al-qaeda planned from its base in afghanistan while hosted by the taliban. in responding, our objective was to prevent the use of afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations from which attacks
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could be launched against the united states or its allies. in 2001 we put our forces in harm's way because it was in our national interest to do so. in 2013 u.s. forces remain in afghanistan because our national interests have not changed. since 2001 we've accomplished a great deal. we've put extraordinary pressure on al-qaeda and its associated networks in afghanistan. operations in afghanistan have disresulted al-qaeda's ability to -- disrupted al-qaeda's ability to plan and conduct operations within the country. operations in afghanistan have also disrupted al-qaeda operations in the other locations. despite our successes, al-qaeda in the region remains resilient and determined to attack the west. i strongly believe that continued pressure on extremist networks in afghanistan remains necessary to secure our interests. while u.s. and nato forces are necessary to pressure extremist networks in the near term, it's
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afghan national security forces that will pressure those networks in the hong term. in the long term. over the past few years, afghan forces have become increasingly capable, competent and credible. just last month they reached a major milestone when they assumed the lead for security nationwide. at the same time, u.s. and naval forces transition to a train, advise and assist role. when people ask me where we are in security transition right now, i respond by answering three fundamental questions. first, can the afghan security forces secure the afghan people in the summer of 2013? and the answer is, yes. can the afghan forces secure the elections in the spring of 2014? the answer is, yes. and the afghan forces affect full security transition at the end of 2014, i answer that with a qualified yes, qualified because they can effect full
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transition if we remain engaged and address some issues of sustainability that i'll talk about in a minute. that's my assessment today, but i will tell you i wasn't so optimistic a few years ago. in december of 2008, i made my first visit to afghanistan. and as many of you remember, there was a great deal of pessimism about the afghan campaign at that time. violence was on the rise, there were insufficient resources to properly wage a civil-military campaign. there was angst in the coalition and, quite frankly, the afghan security forces were ineffective at that time. i visited helmand province that year where the ratio of coalition troops to afghans was 10 to 1, that's ten of us to one afghan. today it's three after a gans to one member of the coalition, and our coalition numbers continue to come down. in 2008 i remember watching a young lieutenant as he begged, pleaded and tried to persuade his afghan counterpart to come with him on patrol to no avail.
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on a good day in 2008, we had an afghan face on a coalition capability. you know, i consider myself an on optimist, but back then i had a tough time envisioning how we would effect a positive outcome here in afghanistan. and i will just tell you today the situation is quite different. the surge of u.s. forces in the reorientation of our operations over the past few years created the space within which afghan forces have grown. over the past five years, we have transitioned from coalition forces in the lead to our forces partnering shoulder to shoulder with afghans to today where we're providing training, provide and assists to after a began forces as they take the lead in conducting counterinsurgency operations. today the only unilateral operations that we're conducting are for route clearance, to maintain freedom of movement, high-end counterterrorism. all other operations are being led, planned, conducted by our
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afghan security force counterparts. and now that we're halfway through the fighting season, i can tell you that nearly 352,000 strong afghan force is successfully taking the fight to the enemy. you know, i could give you a lot of statistics, but rather than do that, let me just attempt to tell you what i'm seeing on the ground. in an ongoing operation, afghan forces successfully launched a complex attack against insurgents in logar province in eastern afghanistan. this operation involved elements from an afghan division, special operations and afghan police. to open the operation, four mi-35s escorted eight mi-17s to insert 250 troops and 6,000 pounds into a blocking position, 6,000 pounds of supplies, that is, into a blocking position. and afghan aviation has continued to support the operation subsequently with replies and casualty evacuation. the operation was planned,
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executed and sustained by afghans. the minister of defense, in fact, briefed me on the operation just two days before the operation commenced. the only coalition support that we provided is close air support. this operation reflects the level of capability that would have been unimaginable even just a few months ago. and i'll be honest, it doesn't reflect what we're seeing everywhere, but it reflects what's possible, and it reflects where we are going. but you don't have to take my word on the progress that we've made. and perhaps what's more important is what do the afghan people believe about the afghan security forces. recent polling shows that 90% of afghans believe that the security situation in their area was fair to good. 91% have a favorable opinion of the afghan army, and 80 percent have a favorable opinion of the afghan police. we have plenty of work left to do in the security line of operation. the physical capabilities and
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capacities of the afghan security forces are going to be sufficient to do the job. the most significant challenges we face today, quite frankly, are in the political and psychological space and overcoming those challenges is going to be what determines our success. in the political realm, we continue to work through tensions resulting from increased aspirations of afghan sovereignty with the requirements that we have in implementing the military technical agreement, the long arm conflict and the u.n. security councilman kate. we've seen this dynamic play out recently with such issues as tariffs levied on military convoys crossing the border for redeployment. we've seen it in some restrictions that president karzai has placed on coalition aircraft providing support for afghan forces, and we've seen it in a case where the president asked us to remove all u.s. special operations forces from a critical province in the southern part of kabul. in working through these issues, we've learned a number of
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lessons that are going to inform the transition process that will take place over the next 18 months. we should expect a series of tough negotiations with compromises that address afghan aspirations of sovereignty while balancing our imperatives for the campaign. and maintaining that balance is going to be tough, but we're working through it. and, of course, the most significant political challenge is affecting the bilateral security agreement, that is the agreement between the united states and afghanistan, that will define the modalities for our presence here in 2015 and beyond. equally important right now is the psychological aspect of the campaign. uncertainty and a lack of confidence are the greatest challenge for us. recently, one afghan woman -- a member of parliament -- said the me that, general, the people no longer fear the taliban as much as they fear uncertainty. another afghan described it to me as the y2k effect. there's a growing sense in kabul that december 2014 is actually a
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cliff for the after afghan people. for the of afghan people. and this uncertainty affects the leadership in kabul, it affects civil society, it affects the ranks of the afghan national security forces. absent confidence and hope for a brighter future, afghan leaders and the people will continue to hedge and plan for the worst case. and we see evidence of this in reports of real estate prices plunging, capital flight and young people in large numbers trying to emigrate from afghanistan, the very people that we need to have here. this uncertainty also reflects in the hedging behavior of pakistan and other actors in the region. that said, i believe the critical elements in shaping the psychological space will be, in fact, the signing of that bilateral security agreement i mentioned followed by a nato status of forces agreement and then some of those will inform our presence post-2015. and then more clarity on our post-2014 mission will also
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significantly increase the confidence of our afghan friends and and also erode the will of our enemies. as the afghan people come to believe in the united states and the nato commitment, they'll have hope and confidence. and i believe that'll significantly and positively affect our campaign. let me shift gears here and just outline what you can expect in the coming months. our objective for the fall is to have the afghan forces emerge from their first summer in the lead confident and critical in the eyes of the afghan people. and we're doing all we can right now to support afghan forces. but i've told my commanders that we can win every tactical engagement through this next couple of months, and we can continue to develop the afghan forces, but that's not going to be enough to be successful. we have to help the afghan forces create a perception of security such that it will support the political process that will begin in earnest in october when the announced candidates for the elections that will take place later in
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the spring. from the fall and into the spring, our u.s. and coalition forces are going to do all we can to support the minister of interior as he provides security both for the election processes and the elections themselves. it's crucial that security conditions are set for inclusive, transparent and critical elections now scheduled for april 5th of 20. 14. after the elections our primary focus is going to shift to ais cysting the afghans in developing the systems, the process and the institutions necessary to sustain a modern army and a modern police force. over the past few years, it's fair to say that we have focused on growing the quantity of force, and now increasingly we're going to focus on quality and sustainability. at the ministerial level, this involves planning, programming, budgeting, acquisition and manpower policy. at the core level and below, it involves improving their command and control, their leadership, their ability to do collective
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training ask their ability to integrate combined arms. another major focus is going to be building the afghan air force. so far as i mentioned a few minutes ago, we've made significant progress, but it's going to take until about 2017 or 2018 to complete our work on the afghan air force program of record. building sustainability in the afghan forces is going to require a presence post-2014. in june the defense -- nato defense ministers met in brussels to approve a concept of operations for our post-2014 mission, and that's going to be a train, advise and assist mission. at the meeting the ministers agreed to put coalition advisers at the afghan core level and above, largely geographically comparable. this adviser presence is going to cover the four corners of the country and kabul. germany has signed up to be the framework nation in the north,
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italy has signed up for the west, turkey has signed up to be the framework nation here in the capital of kabul, and the united states is expected to be the framework nation for the east and for the south. the details of in this support mission are now being worked,, and as the military planning process comets, i expect later in the fall we'll have more fidelity on exactly what the mission will entail. in closing, i'd like to outline what -- [inaudible] looks like for the coalition. and some have shied away from that word in recent years and, frankly, i use it liberally. i have a hard time standing in front of our soldiers and talk about anything other than winning. as i mentioned up front, they need to know exactly what we're trying to do, and so do the people back home. and i want to make it clear that winning for us saying the conditions of the afghans to exploit the decade of opportunity that will come in
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2015 and beyond. and this is going to be accomplished by continuing to develop the capabilities and capacities of the afghan forces and insuring that those capabilities and capacities are sustainable. it's going to be supporting those inclusive, critical and transparent elections i mentioned a minute ago. and although i haven't talked about this much in the interest of time, it will also come by affecting a positive constructive military-to-military relationship between afghanistan and pakistan. and we're working that pretty hard. from my perspective, winning is by no means inevitable at this point, but it's absolutely achievable. everything i've identified as a component of winning, it can be done by the end of 2014, again, supported and sustained by that post-2014 presence. and i would just tell you that it's a trajectory we've been on for the last couple of years, and it continues for the next 16 months, i am, in fact, very comfortable about where we'll be with the afghan forces which will fundamentally harden
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afghanistan so it can facilitate economic development and processes that will take many years after 2015. but the cornerstone will be the afghan forces, and i hope if nothing else i've outlined for you today the progress that we have made and the prospects for success in the future. and i guess i would close by just saying this: we all know and certainly all those in the room know that war is a clash of wills, and i've described to our troops that we're in a red zone of the afghan campaign, and this is not the time to be weak-kneed. this is the time to have more endurance and more will than those who would oppose us, and that's exactly, i think, where we need to be here in the next 16 months and then beyond in 2015. and, drew, i think you asked me to take about half the time for remarks, and i've done that, and i'm standing by for your questions. >> thank you very much, sir. [applause]
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we have a whole set of questions and more pouring in. the first several questions that i received relate to your and your command's relationship with the afghan government. are you having beers with president karzai on a regular basis? and what is the outlook for the sustainability of the afghan government after the departure of u.s. or international security forces? >> sure. thanks, drew. you know, my approach when i came here was that president karzai is the elected president of afghanistan, and i treat him as up. as such. to be honest with you, i meet with him at least once a week, some weeks many more times. even when we have worked through difficult issues, it's been a fairly respectful dialogue. over time i look back at what we've accomplished in our dealings with president karzai.
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i alluded to a minute ago that at one point he ordered all of our special forces to leave, and it was the wardak province i was familiar to. though of you know that's a critical province just outside of afghanistan. i explained when we had that exchange to president karzai that force protection issues and campaign objectives and the security of the afghan people were not going to allow me to comply with that instruction, but i would work with his leadership to come up with a solution that was acceptable. he had ordered us to leave in 14 days, we came up with a solution about six months later. we removed our special operating forces from one district of the 11 tar in that particular province, and we came up with an acceptable solution. so i think we've been able to do that many times. i personally don't listen to the rhetoric that comes out of kabul. i stay focused on those things that we need to accomplish here in kabul. clearly, the rhetoric from kabul and in some other locations has been unhelpful at times, but
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again, i've not responded or reacted to that. i've just tried to work through those issues that i need to because what i'm trying to do is protect the operational flexibility of our force and, more importantly, the afghan national security forces who, as i mentioned, are now in the lead. with regard to our prospects for dealing with the afghan government, you know, clearly i think the next few months will be very difficult. but with i think it needs to be understood in the context of tough negotiations and a process of transitions. you know, transitions by definition are inherently filled with friction, and we have multiple transitions going on at this particular time. we've got a political transition, we've got a security transition, we've got an economic transition. and all of that is going on in the context of, again, these increasing aspirations of afghan sovereignty with some challenges in afghan capacity to meet their aspirations of sovereignty. so i would predict that the next several months are going to be much like the last few months, they're going to be very difficult.
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and when you look at it from the outside, it sometimes can look ugly. but what i remind our forces here and what i'd remind the folks there tonight, this afternoon is that, you know, we didn't come -- as i mentioned in my remarks -- we didn't come to afghanistan for president karzai, and we didn't come here for the afghan people. we came here for our own national interests. now, because we're americans and because we bring the values that we bring, you know, we're going to make afghanistan better and also because our national interests depend on the stability and security in afghanistan in the long term and strong afghan national security forces to provide that stability and security. we're going to continue to do things that are beneficial for afghanistan because our interests intercept. but my relationship with president karzai, my relationship with the afghan people and my focus on this mission is very much informed by the national interest that we have and the desired end state that's necessary to protect our national interest. >> along those lines we've seen
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a resurgence of the influence and activity of al-qaeda in other parts of the cent-com/aor. are you seeing any evidence of al-qaeda trying to put their foot back into afghanistan? >> no. we know that what al-qaeda's aspirations are x they are absolutely to reestablish themselves in force in the region, both in pakistan and afghanistan. we've had tremendous success with our special operations forces. as i mentioned, over the last decade. the key to success in the fight against al-qaeda is constant pressure against the network x that's exactly what's happened over the past ten years. we've had extraordinary success even recently against al-qaeda in afghanistan in particular which is our focus, and we have prevented them from planning and conducting operations existence the west -- against the west, and they've largely been ineffective here in afghanistan. but i would tell you the nature of extremism in this region is
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very complicated, and it's not just about al-qaeda. it's about al-qaeda and the networks that support them. it's about the ttp, the pakistani taliban, the afghan taliban, it's about imu and all these organizations cooperate and coordinate to various degrees. but they're all fairly lethal. and we haven't seen a resurgence here, but the reason is because of that pressure. and, frankly, we're in the process now of developing the very capable afghan special operating forces that, in time, will be able to provide that same kind of pressure that we're providing today. again, provided we stay committed and we sustain the capabilities past 2014. >> we have in our rather sizable audience here about 70 junior officers attending our roa junior officers professional development seminar. some of them have already deployed and are back, and some are on the stump ready to go. we have several questions that
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relate to the green-on-blue violence that spiked in, i guess, last year, this spring. what's the status on that, and how are you doing with it? >> yeah. last year we did have a significant challenge with insider attacks, and those insider attacks, in fact, spiked last year during the ramadan. ramadan, as they call it here in afghanistan. today is the first day of post-ramadan. i almost hesitate to say this, drew, but we did not have any insider attacks during this particular ramadan. we had one just before ramadan, and the numbers of insular attacks this year has significantly reduced. i attribute that to several things. number one, the afghans took it seriously, and the vetting process has been much improved. we have also improved our
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counterintelligence capability significantly. we've also improved our training and preparation for young officers and marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen deploying here to the theater. we don't do anything without what we call a guardian angel or someone in overwatch with a weapon fully conscious of what's going on, prepared to support their fellow servicemen and women. and so i think a function of our increased training and focus on this, a realization by our afghan counterparts that this was actually a strategic issue and needed to be addressed has allowed us to make pretty significant progress to the point where you haven't heard much about insider attacks. but it's one of those things that keeps you awake at night. it's one of those things that we tell those young officers you never, ever become complacent about. as soon as you let your guards down, you have let your marines, soldiers, sailors or airmen down. but i think cooperation by the afghans with an increased counterintelligence and training emphasis has helped us mitigate that threat that still exists.
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and interestingly enough, we have had still a number of insider attacks through this summer, be but they've been inside of afghan formations. >> the reserve officers' association and the u.s. representative to the nato reserve association, cior and many of our members just came back from the czech republic. what is your assessment of the strength, enthusiasm and engagement of our coalition partners particularly from nato at this point? >> yeah. i would say, and i would say otherwise, you know, i'm going to speak to you with all candor. i've been extraordinarily impressed with the endurance, and i mentioned spirit and discipline of our force. i've been equally impressed with our nato allies and partner nations. we've got 48 nations here right now, we had 50 when i arrived. we still have 48 on the ground.
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the other thing i would tell you, the minister of defense level and below -- and i've spoken to all of the ministers of defense three or four times -- at that level and below they remain extraordinarily, supportive of the mission. germany has stepped up, italy has already step thed up, turkey has stepped up as well as a lot of other nations, georgia and other nations that have already indicated that they would have a robust presence here post-2014. so they have, they have stayed in the fight, they have been well led, they've been well trained, and they've been great partners. and, you know, we have 66,000 americans here, but we have still almost 90,000 forces overall. and the truth of the matter is that we couldn't do this with the u.s. presence. their presence here has been important. and, again, the country is divided up into kind of four corners, and two of those corners framework nations are provided by our nato partners. kind of a coalition within a
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coalition led by germany in the west and turkey here in the center. so i've been pretty happy with nato. there are some, you know, again, for the younger officers in the crowd there are some unique challenges that come with nato. there's language issues, there's culture issues, but i'll tell you what, to come into a fight like in this with a coalition and all of its challenges is a lot better than coming alone. it provides us with an extraordinary degree of legitimacy and some very real military capability that has helped us get to the point that we're at right now. >> we just had a pretty straightforward presentation by the columnist ralph peters who i'm sure you're aware of. who gave us a geopolitical travelogue of the state of the world. and one of his observations was that our efforts in afghanistan may be futile because of the
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tribal nature of afghanistan, that it doesn't really resemble a nation in the way that we understand it. what's your take on that? >> yeah. drew, i don't think that's a deep enough look. i mean, what are we trying to accomplish? we're trying to make sure we can have a stable and secure afghanistan. and i would tell you that as we've watched the afghan forces develop, you know, many pundits out there have talked about fracturing, they've talked about loyalty and those kinds of things, and in all honesty -- and i think if a sergeant or a sergeant first class was sitting here, he'd tell you the same thing -- you know, we see afghan first and then hair drive and so forth second. there is a very real national identity in afghanistan. i talked to you about the popularity of the afghan army amongst the afghan people. i think that speaks for itself. afghanistan is not culturally, nor from a sociological
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standpoint the same as the west, nor does it have to be. but i'm absolutely convinced that we can have stability and security here such that it protects our interests. and, again, the thing i also would mention, a stable and secure afghanistan is not only important for the mission that we came here for, to prevent afghanistan, prevent afghanistan from being a sanctuary, but i'd also highlight that we do have a vital national interest in the region, and certainly we have every interest in pakistan being stable. a weak state to the west of pakistan from which security can be challenged is also an issue, and i think a stable and secure afghanistan not only is important in the context of afghanistan itself, but it's also important in the context of regional stability and security. >> lieutenant colonel peters was also critical in questioning of the role of women in the afghan
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culture by -- on flip side he was very supportive of our expansion of combat opportunities for women in our services. what's your comment on that? what are women up to these days in afghanistan? >> i'll tell you what women are up to, women have made tremendous gains. there was about a million young children in school here in afghanistan ten years ago, very, very few women. there's about ten million children in school today, a very large number of women. there are women in parliament, there are women in both houses of the parliament. there's women in civil society. but i would tell you this, our continued presence here and the continued sport of the international community -- support of the international community is inextricably linked to the future of women in afghanistan. my assessment is that the gains that have been made for women's rights here in afghanistan are very tenuous at this point, and i'd base that on the feedback
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that i get from afghan women who talk about that all the time. and they believe that their future is linked to our continued presence and the continued support of the international community. and, drew, i've got to tell you, i think with regard to women in our forces, we just all need to get over ourselves. for the last -- we've been at war for 12 years. women have played a critical role in wombat for the last -- in combat for the last 12 years. i'm not sure the emotion of the debate be, i think, probably needs to be diffused a bit, and we need to have a fact-based conversation about the specific role of women in each one of our services. and i'm optimistic that that's what's going to happen here over the next 12 or 18 months. but certainly the word women in combat is not what the debate is all about. what the debate is all about is what specific moss might be for some reasons closed to women. and i know in my case having coming from the marine corps, about 90% of the moss are open
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to women, and we're not having a problem with that. >> all right. we had a very good and energetic medical program yesterday that focused on battlefield trauma. what's the state of medical care in afghanistan for the troops? >> drew, you know, if you look at the survivability rate, i think all of the veterans in the audience -- and i know we have some from different wars -- it has never been better. you know, we have maintained the golden hour, we'll maintain that even as we draw down the force. we won't compromise that. our medical personnel from each one of the services are extraordinary at battlefield promulgations in stabilizing patients so they can be subsequently deployed to germany where we also have first class medical care and, of course, back home in the united states. we have 12 years now of combat experience. our medical personnel have made two, three, four deployments, extraordinary experience.
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and i don't think any force ever -- i know, it's not i think, no force has ever deployed with a more capable or credible medical capability than the one we have right now, and it just keeps getting better. and i would tell you, i'm not sure if you talk us much about traumatic brain injury or posttraumatic stress, but we also have moved those capabilities forward to the battlefield where the treatment that our folks receive here at the point of contact absolutely mitigates the risk of long-term damage. be. >> we have one of our general -- our junior officers who's getting ready to deploy in ad visely role in -- advisory role in the human intelligence field. how's our efforts in human, in afghanistan these days? >> drew, from our, you know, our human capability is obviously very good, again, as a result of 12 years of combat. the after began capability, you know, among the areas -- it's a
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great question that he asks because, you know, i talk about sustainability in, you know, 15 or 17 minutes' remarks, it's difficult to capture the full campaign. but as i look at the capability gaps that the of gavins have right now, you know -- the afghans have right now, you know, it's intelligence, the afghan air force, some aspects of command and control and then logistics sustainability. so he'll have his work cut out for him over here. we've got plenty of work to do to help the afghans develop tear capabilities. and quite frankly, they have good collectors in terms of human intelligence. clearly, better than ours as a result of the language, cultural and, obviously, from afghanistan their personal relationships. but the ability to take all of that and fuse it into intelligence that drives operations is a challenge. their isr capabilities, obviously, not what they need to be yet. so i would say that, again, if you're asking about the coalition capabilities for human
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exploitation themes as we call them in the marine corps or the army human themes, extraordinary. if you're talking about the afghan capability, we're working on that, and that's one of those areas of quality and sustainability that i addressed in my opening remarks. >> all right. let me close with one final question about the role of the reserves going forward. there's, as you know, a pretty vigorous debate going on about force mix going forward, particularly in an era of diminished resources for defense. and the relative economy of force by continuing an operational role for the reserves. what's your take on that from the operational perspective that you've had now in afghanistan with reserves? >> well, drew, you know, as i mentioned, you know, we've got 60,000 americans here right now inside of the mission for isaf,
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and 12,000 of them are reserves. let me talk about one functional area that i didn't get a chance to address in my remarks that i think is an example of the importance of reserves. you know, we're doing pretty well, and i talk mostly about the afghan army. the afghan police are some two or three years behind right now both in terms of institutional capabilities, processes and procedures and also in terms of human capital, training, evidence-based operations and so forth. and i would tell you as i've gone around and seen our police advisory teams, you know, the policemen from chicago, the policemen from boston, from new york city, from mobile, alabama, wherever it happens to be, provides some unique skills that we just don't have. our whole rule of law section over here is led by a reserve brigadier general who's a district attorney who brings a skill set that, quite frankly, the active component doesn't bring. we also have, you know, just
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regular army, national guard brigades that are providing security force assistance to both police and army that are doing an extraordinary job. and so, you know, for me the issue of reserves is much like the issue of women. you know, it's not a question of either/or, it's just a question of getting the right balance within the resource constraints we have. if anyone's asking a question now about the utility of the reserves or the criticality of our reserves to our operational force, you know, they've been under a rock for the last 10 or 12 years. the issue, actually, is let's take a look at what we've learned and optimize the mix of force to take advantage of the unique skills that the reserves have and more importantly probably the readiness and timeliness of the active component for those things that may require a shorter fuse than the reserve component can respond to. but i think in both of those issues that you've asked about, i hope that our discussioning and debate is more about balance than it is about either/or. >> thank you. that's a great closing comment.
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we promised to have you out the door so you could can't to prosecute the war. we're very appreciate tef of your participation -- appreciative of your participation, and we have a valuable speaker's gift for you on its way. it's a, it's a box of a month's supply of baby wipes and power bars -- [laughter] and in addition to that, because i won a bet on the stanley cup between the blackhawks and whatever that team in boston is -- [laughter] i have for you two massachusetts lottery tickets that are the scratch-off tickets, and you have the opportunity to win season tickets next year for the boston red sox. good luck on that. >> hey, drew, hey, i appreciate that. with regard to the baby wipes and the power bars, your generosity is overwhelming, and i look forward to sharing those here. [laughter] >> thank you very much, appreciate it.
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>> all right, thanks. [applause] >> today's thunderstorms are contributing to low voter turnout in new jersey's primary to fill the seat of the late senator frank lautenberg. four democrats and two republicans are vying for their party's nominations to compete in a special election scheduled for october 16th. the winner will come to washington to serve the rest of senator lautenberg's term. also the associated press reports that the federal government and some states are challenging the proposed merger of u.s. airways and be american airlines, a deal between the two largest airlines that they say would result in substantial harm to consumers with higher fares and less services. the justice department, joined by the attorney generals of six states, filed a lawsuit today in a federal court in washington d.c. and on c-span this afternoon, marriage in america. two of the plaintiffs in the
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proposition 8 same-sex marriage case talk about their experiences during litigation and how their lives have changed. >> you know, i had this interesting experience a couple of days ago, we were in washington, d.c., and i was renting a car. and chris wasn't with me. i'm filling out the paperwork, and they said are you the first driver? i said, no, do they have to be here? and they said, oh, no, as long as you're married. and i said, oh, i'm married. [laughter] and, you know, i haven't got withen used to it. i thought, ka-ching, it's my first kind of cool little minute, you know? [laughter] and the guy goes, okay, well, then i'll just put your husband's name down, i said, no, it's my wife. and he said, oh, i'm sorry, of course, and that's i'll just put that down. he goes i'll put down spouse. and i thought, yeah, put down spouse and change your forms and change your -- [laughter] and don't ever ask anybody
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again. [applause] but we are so used to, i'm so used to using the word partner and having that feeling about that like, oh, it feels sort of bad. it just feels a little -- it does feel second class. it is second class. i'm not a lawyer. i never aspire to be a partner in my life, you know? [laughter] but the word wife is working out pretty well. i like that one. so it really does change. the day that we got married and i got my fourth ring because we are gay people, we need lots of rings to commemorate our marriages -- [laughter] the day that we got married i honestly felt calmer. i felt like my heart rate, my blood pressure just went down a little bit like, yeah, you know? things are going to be okay. this is real. it's the real deal, and our families are going to understand it better, and we can stop fighting in court, we can stop being in court over it, and we
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both felt a hot calmer, and i feel more legitimate in some bizarre way in this world. because in our country and in our society marriage means something. >> more from that conversation at 5:45 eastern. and then we'll talk to journalists and legal analysts about some of the implications of the june supreme court rulings having to do with same-sex marriage cases. plus, your calls and and comments on facebook and hash tag c-span chat. and at a forum last week, journalists who cover the supreme court agree that the court's justices are reluctant to allow cameras in the court out of fear of being mocked. this discussion is about an hour and a half. [inaudible conversations]
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>> all right. well, thanks for coming. we're going to go ahead and get started. welcome to this wonderful panel, welcome to our c-span audience as well. we're being televised this afternoon. we've got five topnotch political journalists who do things a little bit differently, and i'm really excited about this panel. i've been looking forward to it for months. i'm dr. jane singer from the university of iowa, i'm vice chair of the standing committee on professional freedom and responsibility. our chair, dwight brooks, is also here with us, board member marie harden and some other folks, and we're sponsoring this panel, so it's a special session from us. also a quick plug that more politics are on tap tomorrow. we've got freedom sings is coming to do our plenary, so we're really also excited about that, it'll be terrific, and we're also giving our first amendment award this year to the school of media, the first amendment center which is based in nashville. so it's going to be a great program tomorrow, that's during the plenary time slot, and you've got nothing else to do,
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so please come for that. we're going to go ahead and get started. we're going to do this informally, just ask some questions, we're going to bounce around some answers, we're going to talk -- panelists are going to share their thoughts and open it up and hope we have a really great discussion because i know you've got good questions as well. so i'm kind of go in the order in which they're seated. first to my right is bill adair. bill is the new night professor of the practice of journalism and public policy at duke university. you probably know him better as the founder and the editor of politifact, the fact-checking web site that i know you all know, among many ore accolades and the gratitude of us all is a pulitzer prize winner for national reporting from a couple of years ago. next to bill is rachel smolkin who you probably also know. ray -- rachel is currently managing editor of politico. she oversaw the killing of osama bin laden, the supreme court decision upholding the
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health care act. you may also know her from her work at the politics team at "usa today" and before that as the managing editor of american journalism review. so rachel next to her, and next to rachel is jen bendly who is not on your program, and i apologize for that. originally, camille was going to be here, but she has gone over to the mainstream and is now working for cnn making her ineligible for the panel, plus, she moved to the panel. so jen very kindly agreed to step in, and we really appreciate it. she is the white house reporter for huffington post, also covers the leadership on capitol hill for huff post. she spent four years covering both branches of government, both legislative and executive branches of government for roll call. probably a walk in the park for her because she started out -- [inaudible] [audio difficulty]
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so thank you for that. next to jen is john stanton. after seven years, he joined buzz feed, he is the bureau chief of buzz feed here in washington starting about a week ago. when he started, ben smith described him as a reporter's reporter with ink running in his veins. he is a third generation news man, and it probably doesn't hurt that he's a normer bouncer as well. and at the err end of the table is alex muller. alex is currently with roll call, so three of our panelists have roll call roots. he gives us a graphic perspective. he has a background in both graphics and, graphic design and journalism, also web design and production both for roll call and for the hill, so his current career is making legislators look at least interesting online and in print.
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so that's our panelists, we'll really happy to have them here. i thought we would just throw out some questions, jump in. the panelists jumped in with each other, and we'll talk about whatever you want to talk about. i thought we would start with a broad -- i do want to hear their views on "the washington post" and its kind of transitional state that it's in now, but i do want to start out maybe by asking the panelists just to talk a little bit or say a little bit about how you do things differently, what do you do that's different from the way traditional media would cover politics, how do you t sort of define your role and a little about how is that effective in communicating about politics to the public. >> i'll be happy to go first and say we threw out the mold in terms of a story form when we created politifact, that we decided that the story, the
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riggsal news story -- traditional news story, inverted pyramid was not going to be the way that we informed people about politics, that we were going to do it through a whole different form of journalism and something that was, where the information was communicated both through an individual fact check article, but also through the collective. so go to michele bachmann's politifact page, and you can see that she has been checked 60-some times, and in 50-some of those she's been rated false or pants on fire. so you learn something about michele bachmann to know that the collective about her tells something as well as the individual articles. and so i think as we, as we set up politifact also for our obama meter, that we decided we would not be slaves to the old form of journalism and would
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create something new. >> i guess we'll go in order here. so i work for politico, which is an all-politics publication, now politics and policy. so we've expanded a little bit in the past couple of years and continue to expand. but we're very much directed at being fast, being smart, trying to think of the story that the post and the times and the others might do for the next day, and we do it quicker and and sooner. we have a terrific team of reporters and editors who work to make it look smart. and we're directed very much at influence makers, inside the beltway and out. it's been a big shift more me because before i worked at politico, i was at "usa today" which also has terrific journalists but is mass publication directed at explaining things to all people, including people who might not be so familiar to politics. so it's been a real shift to go to more of the inside
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perspective. but at the same time we want to be interesting and accessible and written in a way that's punchy and conversational, so we spend a lot of time thinking about tone and style and how best to grab readers and tell a compelling story. >> so i work at the huffington post. you probably all know what it is. you know, if you go to huff post front page web site, it's kind of like a screen, all kinds of issues all thrown up there together. but for me, covering politics for them is great for a couple of reasons. one, because we can take an issue that's in the main, daily grind of news, and we can do it a little bit differently. we have the ability to run like a wire story, like an ap story to kind of get the daily, you know, this is what's happening on this issue today. we can put that up, and separately we can go do something related to it that's probably not the way somebody else is going to report it. so for example, one of the thing we've been really focused on is
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sequestration. the issue seems to have lost kind of a lot of its wow factor and power, you know, in this town. it's not something you hear about that much anymore except for side comments about we need to do something. but something we've done at huffington which has been really fun for me and kind of unique, i think, to what we can do there is we've really focused on this subject. we interviewed janitors who got laid off at the capitol because of sequestration, families in tennessee who, you know, are struggling because their kids are cut out of head start programs, and they don't know how they're going to get by every day. so it's related to the daily news grind topics, but it's a different angle. it's more -- i like to think of it as more you kind of inject a more human aspect the some of these broader policy issues that just kind of hit you over the head all the time in in this town. so i guess for me that's one of the main things that i feel like makes huffington a little bit different from a political reporting standpoint.
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>> so buzz feed is obviously sort of aimed at the youth, you know, 8-40 or so, that's a pretty broad range, frankly, of people. but coming from roll call to here the thing i found more interesting is we focus on telling the stories that will, in a way that will be viral. we sort of consider twitter, for instance, to be our front page or facebook, things like that. we sort of -- we consider our readers in a way to be our front page. and so that requires us to find ways to explain stories particularly inside the beltway kind of stories or congressional stories that, you know, your average person may not understand or have any kind of real reason to care, they a think. so we have to find ways to tell them those stories. and, you know, it's been an interesting challenge. we don't write stories, for instance, about the commodity news kinds of stuff, like today this happened on the hill. we try to find ways to explicate those stories in a different
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manner, pick a person that's involved, write about them, write about their involvement, find interesting things people are saying or doing as a way to tell these stories. and, you know, i think everyone has seen the site. it's a general news and entertainment site which is obviously very different than politico or roll call, sort of opposite way of going from, you know, this big to a smaller now and sort of trying to find a way to tell your average person who may not know who eric cantor is, why you should care about the fact that he and john boehner are having a fight today. so that has been sort of the interesting thing. but, you know, we are sort of trying to use social media as a way to broaden people's understandings of what's going on in politics. >> so at roll call it's always been focusing on the stories that most affect capitol hill, the community in general, and we've been doing that since
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1955, so we sort of build relationships on the hill, and we look at broader issues like piggybacking off this sequestration talk earlier, but ea also narrow it down to how that affects the capitol hill community and things such as times to get into the capitol visitors' center, things like that. we've been doing that for a long time, and we're pretty good at that, and we're broadening our web presence right now. as we do that, we're always focusing on the stories that most affect the seem who live and work on capitol hill. so -- >> great. so i actuallied them to talk about the audience, and you've sort of done that. tell me about your sources. do you find you're using different kinds of sources than you use in traditional media or that you see the traditional media using? how do you kind of bridge that gap that you're actually all sort of referring to, but we're inside the beltway, sorry, we're
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inside the beltway, but we need to get to know people who are not inside the beltway understand why this matters to them. does it affect your sourcing? >> well, for us it does in a sense. we are very conscious of what people are talking about on twitter, on facebook, on readit, sites like that. so if we see something pop up, we will, you know, report on it. a few weeks ago after the trayvon martin verdict came out, for instance, there was this whole sort of acknowledgment amongst white people, frankly, that there was this thing that got termed black twitter. and we did this whole, you know, we did a story on black twitter and on the power that the black commitment has found in using twitter in communicating to each other but also to the broader sort of national audience. those kinds of things happen in other areas of politics. we've used it to look at things around the election, people talking about a particular story or a video that somebody put on
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youtube of a town hall, let's say, or something like that. we definitely use it as a source. but, you know, i think all of us are like this, we still are trying to have these very traditional notions of being a reporter in this sort of new world. so we're still talking to staff, we're talking to members, we're talking to the interest groups, people outside of the beltway in commitments and things like that. -- in communities and things like that. so it is a new sort of tool to find out maybe what people are interested in and a way to engage them in that conversation they maybe are already having. >> and i would add to that not just the use of social media sites which i think is very important in all of our jobs, but since moving to politico from "usa today," you know, i was talking about the difference between the mass audience and a more specific audience. politico very much focuses on getting the people who are actually in the room, making the policy if there's a fiscal cliff battle or a leadership fight.
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these, of course, are not abstract examples, they've all happened. we want to talk to the lawmakers who are in the room. we want to find out what happened. we want as much detail and an insider feel as we can possibly give. we did that, of course, at "usa today" as well, but we were more likely to also rely on a professor who could sort of tell you about the dynamics or give you the overview. we want to get as close to the action as we can as consistently as possible. >> and in the case of politifact, our rule is that when possible, reporters have to find original sources. so it's not enough to have a, to realize a news story that says so and so voted for this bill. we require the reporters to actually go to the roll call vote and look at the original roll call vote. and so we put a heavy emphasis on original reporting. i think unlike some of the other panelists, our metabolism isn't
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quite as feverish. our goal is do a thorough fact check. and so sometimes that takes a day, sometimes that takes a little longer. and be our goal is to take a political claim and check it and be as thorough about it as we can. and in doing so, to rely on original sources rather than secondhand sources. >> i guess i would just say for huffington i feel like there's, we have a lot of flexibility to decide on the way we want to do our coverage. so what's particularly fun for me is something like i can walk into the senate press area, i can walk up to marco rubio and ask him, hey, let's talk about how you're supporting the immigration reform bill and how this is upsetting some people on the far right, but it's also making other people in your party happy. i can talk to him directly as a direct source, as a senator. tried and true sources, you know, the direct voice of the lawmakers. but then, you know, i can walk
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outside the next day, and there's a huge rally outside with people, the tea party came, you know? a big tea party rally was happening outside the capitol, and a colleague of mine and i, we spent the whole afternoon talking to people out there about what they think about marco rubio's role in the immigration debate and do they like him now? do they hate him now? by the large, they were all very unhappy with him now. he wasn't who they thought he was. you can probably imagine what the responses were. but those were two separate stories that kind of address immigration reform from a different perspective and from a sourcing standpoint, some of my stories are -- some of my favorite stories are talking to people, people who come to the capitol, people who live in town struggling with the policies that get so overtalked in this town that they start to feel like they lose meaning, yet when you talk to people who are not in the bubble here, you can get some great stories. they're real people, and for me, i think, huffington's been really good for our sourcin

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